News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIran, Iraq leaders discuss boosting ties: state TV

Iran, Iraq leaders discuss boosting ties: state TV

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AFP: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telephoned his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani and discussed boosting relations between the two neighbours, state media reported on Monday.

TEHRAN, October 25, 2010 (AFP) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telephoned his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani and discussed boosting relations between the two neighbours, state media reported on Monday.

Sunday’s conversation between the two leaders came a week after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited Tehran as part of a Middle East tour aimed at securing regional support for keeping his job following an inconclusive general election in March.

“I hope that with the formation of a new Iraqi government, bilateral ties will expand in different areas, especially in the economic and political fields,” state television quoted Ahmadinejad as telling Talabani.

The Iraqi president said he hoped to travel to Iran once the new government is in place, the television said on its website.

Protracted coalition talks in Baghdad are set to come to a head after Iraq’s highest court told parliament on Sunday to end the deadlock in electing a new prime minister and president.

Maliki has been locked in a battle for the premiership with former prime minister Iyad Allawi.

Iran has stepped up its diplomatic activity in the region in recent weeks, visiting Lebanon and holding telephone talks twice in eight days with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

In his talks with Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week, Maliki called Iraq’s relations with its eastern neighbour “strategic” and urged Tehran to help rebuild his country.

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