Iraq, Russia call for de-escalating tensions in Gulf region

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Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim (R) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Baghdad, Iraq, on Oct. 7, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Monday called for increasing efforts to reduce tensions in the Gulf region and the return of Syria to the Arab League (AL).

Earlier in the day, Lavrov, accompanied by a delegation including representatives of major Russian energy companies, arrived in Baghdad on an official visit.

At a joint press conference following a meeting between the two ministers, al-Hakim said that "regional issues were discussed in the meeting, as we talked about security challenges facing the region, and we emphasized the necessity to decrease the tensions in the Gulf region and securing maritime navigation in the Gulf."

Iraq and Russia stressed on the unity of Syria and the necessity of its return to the AL, al-Hakim said, adding that the two sides confirmed the need to increase cooperation between the two countries to find a solution for the conflict in Syria, in accordance with decisions of Astana conference.

For his part, Lavrov said that political dialogue between Baghdad and Moscow is going on, noting that he "discussed with the Iraqi side reducing the Gulf region's tension and pushing initiatives that unite countries instead of dividing them."

The top Russia's diplomat is also scheduled to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and other Iraqi top officials to discuss the political situation in the region and coordinate positions as well as strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

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