By Muhammet Kursun
TEHRAN (AA) - Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Monday that Tehran may cancel visa requirements for Iraqi nationals in hopes of bolstering ties between the two neighbors, according to Iranian state media.
While attending a trade fair in Baghdad, Zarif reportedly stressed the need for stepped-up bilateral cooperation among states of the region.
“The limited nature of our relations with Iraq is unacceptable,” he was quoted as saying.
“Along with cancelling visa requirements for Iraqi nationals, we are also ready to build industrial zones on our borders [with Iraq] with a view to promoting greater economic cooperation,” he added.
Zarif went on to describe economic cooperation and development as pillars of regional security.
“In a strong and safe region, countries will welcome their neighbors’ development and prosperity as their own,” he said.
On the first day of a planned four-day visit to Baghdad, Zarif met top Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi, and his Iraqi counterpart, Mohamed Ali Alhakim.
Over the coming three days, Zarif is expected to visit several other Iraqi cities, including Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Karbala.