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New Iraqi PM meets Iranian, American envoys after his first cabinet session

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi meets Iran's Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi on May 9, 2020

Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the new prime minister of Iraq, has held separate meetings with the ambassadors of Iran and the US at the beginning of his term in office.

In a meeting on Saturday evening, PM Al-Kadhimi and Iran's ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi discussed mutual cooperation, banking collaborations, the railroad connecting Iran's Khorramshahr to Iraq's Basra, and the issuance of visa for the two countries' nationals.

They also conferred on continued implementation of the 1975 Algiers Agreement, a treaty signed by the neighboring states on June 13, 1975 to end the two sides’ territorial disputes, especially regarding Arvand River.

In his meeting with Masjedi, which was held a few hours after the first official meeting of the new government of Iraq, Al-Kadhimi praised Tehran's efforts in fight against Daesh terrorists in the region, said the Iranian ambassador in his Twitter account.

The prime minister also described Iran and Iraq as two friendly and brotherly countries, and expressed Baghdad's interest in creating best relations with the Islamic Republic and all other neighboring countries.

Earlier in the day, the Iraqi prime minister received the US ambassador to Iraq Matthew H. Tueller.

In the meeting, Al-Kadhimi told the American ambassador that Iraq would not be used for settling accounts nor as a springboard to attack any neighboring or friendly country.

He also highlighted the necessity for maintaining regional security and keeping the region away from dangers.

The US ambassador, in turn, claimed that Washington will support Iraq and is ready to help the country both to settle its economic woes and to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting came against the backdrop of calls by various Iraqi groups and figures for the immediate expulsion of American troops from the Arab country.

Following the Iraqi Parliament's approval of Al-Kadhimi's cabinet on Wednesday, Iraqi Grand Mufti Mahdi al-Sumaidaie said the new prime minister must "work on the issue of expelling American military troops from Iraq, as they destroy the powerful and trustworthy forces of Iraq."

Baghdad Friday prayers leader Sayed Yasin al-Mousavi also said that American forces do not intend to leave the Middle East region and have to be consequentially expelled forcibly by means of resistance.

Iraq's Badr Organization has also stressed that the new cabinet must implement the bill ratified by the Iraqi Parliament on the expulsion of foreign forces.

The Iraqi parliament voted in January to expel foreign forces led by Washington from the country.

The decision came in response to the US assassination of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units deputy commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, alongside Iran’s top anti-terror Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, in the capital city Baghdad earlier in January.

Iraqi resistance groups have vowed to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order.

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