Roundup: Iran, Iraq agree to cement ties

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TEHRAN, April 7 (Xinhua) -- Iran and Iraq have agreed to cement ties by boosting cooperation in diverse areas and urged implementation of previously-inked deals.

On Sunday, Iran and Iraq agreed on development of two joint oilfields located in Naft Shahr and Khorramshahr border region, Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Iran's Petro-Energy Information Network (SHANA).

Zanganeh made the remarks after a meeting with visiting Iraqi Minister of Oil Thamir al-Ghadban.

"There are massive potentialities for expanding Iran-Iraq cooperation in oil, gas, refining and petrochemicals grounds, and Iran is ready to offer its capabilities to the Iraqi oil industry," Zanganeh said.

In the meeting session, "it was decided that a joint partnership to be established between the Iranian Oil Industries Engineering and Construction (OIEC) and a similar company in Iraq in order to develop joint projects," he added.

In the meantime, Iran's top military commander said Sunday that his country and its neighbor Iraq agreed to cooperate in the area of air defense to fend off challenges facing their respective air spaces, according to Press TV.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks following a meeting with visiting Iraqi Army's Chief of Staff Othman al-Ghanimi.

Their meeting addressed "the integrated defense of Iran and Iraq's skies, because we might sense threats coming from the direction of (Iran's) western borders," said Baqeri.

To this end, Iran and Iraq's air defense should work together and more coordination should be made in this regard, he said.

Al-Ghanimi visited the Iranian capital Tehran as part of a delegation accompanying Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Abdul Mahdi arrived in Iran's capital Tehran on Saturday to discuss ties with the Iranian officials on bilateral ties.

The constant contacts between Iran and Iraq come amidst the U.S. pressures on Iraq to stop energy imports from Iran.

Iraq's President Barham Salih has said that his country will not be part of the U.S. sanctions against the Islamic republic. Enditem

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