UPDATE WITH LAVROV REMARKS, CHANGES HEADLINE
By Ibrahim Saleh
BAGHDAD (AA) - Russia and Iraq have agreed on putting forward initiatives that unify the Gulf regional states, Russian foreign minister said on Monday.
Sergey Lavrov made these remarks in a joint news conference with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Ali al-Hakim, held following their meeting in Baghdad.
"We have a unified stance to reduce escalation and to put forward initiatives regarding the Gulf region instead of initiatives that disperse them," Lavrov said.
Lavrov also said that his country will implement the contracts signed between Baghdad and Moscow for the delivery of weapons to Iraq.
From his part, al-Hakim said that "we conducted joint talks on our bilateral relations in which we discussed horizons of economic cooperation and investment in rebuilding Iraq."
"We stressed on the Syria's territorial integrity, the return of Syria to the Arab League as stated in the Syrian peace process in Astana," al-Hakim added.
Earlier, Lavrov arrived in Baghdad for a visit which will include a meeting with leaders of Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq's Erbil, according to a diplomatic source.
Lavrov's program in Iraq is set to include his first visit to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, the source said.
The minister's visit comes amid troubled situation in Iraq, where mass anti-government protests broke out in several Iraqi cities and left at least 110 dead and thousands injured since Oct. 1.