Ayatollah Sistani Receives Iranian President Rouhani
By Staff, Agencies
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with the senior Iraqi cleric, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani on Wednesday in the holy city of Najaf.
The meeting was also attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Iran Envoy to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rouhani arrived in Karbala where he visited the Holy Shrines and held a cordial meeting with heads of Iraqi tribes.
Rouhani’s Iraq visit is taking place upon the official invitation of Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
Exploring avenues for promoting bilateral relations in the political, economic and cultural fields are among the main objectives of the Iranian president’s official visit to Iraq.
Both countries on Tuesday released a final statement in which they have agreed on no-fee visas, construction of border railway connecting the two countries, establishing joint industrial parks, oil and gas cooperation as well as dredging a border river.
The Iranian and Iraqi authorities discussed and signed Memoranda of Understanding [MoU] on issues such as oil, trade, health and rail transit via Shalamcheh-Basra.
The railroad, some 35 kilometers long, connects the Iranian border town of Shalamcheh to the Iraqi city of Basra.
The route is meant to further speed up bilateral export and import in a bid to rapidly reach the target of 20 billion dollars of annual trade volume. It could also significantly ease and facilitate tourism between the two neighbors.