News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraqi PM to make first Iran visit Tuesday

Iraqi PM to make first Iran visit Tuesday

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AFP: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will on Tuesday make his first visit to Iran as head of the Baghdad government for talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president’s office said.
TEHRAN, Sept 11, 2006 (AFP) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will on Tuesday make his first visit to Iran as head of the Baghdad government for talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president’s office said.

“Mr al-Maliki will arrive tomorrow morning in Tehran and will have talks with President Ahmadinejad after he arrives,” said Ehsan Jahandideh, an official in the presidential press office.

The visit of the Shiite prime minister, who lived in Iran during the 1980s when Baghdad was at war with Tehran to escape persecution of his Dawa party, will be his first since becoming head of the Baghdad government.

The first visit by an Iraqi prime minister since the fall of Saddam Hussein was made by Maliki’s predecessor Ibrahim al-Jaafari in July 2005.

The two countries waged a war between 1980 and 1988 in which around one million people died but ties have warmed considerably since Saddam’s fall, with the Islamic republic becoming a close ally of the Shiite-led Iraqi government.

Maliki’s spokesman on Saturday had said that the prime minister would visit Tehran on Monday to discuss security and political issues, but officials said scheduling problems had postponed the trip.

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