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Iran, Iraq share similar stance on Palestine, Gaza war: Top general

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri (L) and Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet Mohammed al-Abbasi (R) meet in Baghdad on December 3, 2023. (Via IRNA)

Iran’s highest-ranking military commander says the Islamic Republic and Iraq pursue a similar line on the Palestinian issue, particularly the ongoing Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the announcement in a meeting in Baghdad on Sunday with Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet Mohammed al-Abbasi.

Baqeri underscored the common stances of the Iranian and Iraqi governments, nations and religious authorities on leading regional and international developments.

He highlighted the high position of Iraq in Iran's foreign and defense policies, saying Tehran and Baghdad need to strengthen security and defense cooperation given the regional circumstances and the status of the two countries.

Pointing to great achievements of the Iranian Armed Forces in the tactical, strategic and technical spheres, the top general said Iran was ready to share its knowledge and expertise with Iraq.

Baqeri also said the Iranian Armed Forces are prepared to stage bilateral or multilateral naval rescue and relief drills in the Persian Gulf.

The Iraqi defense chief, for his part, said the Iraqi nation, with all the various political views, feel bound to stand with the Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli regime.

Iran expects Iraq to fully disarm terrorists along border: Baqeri

In a meeting with Iraqi Minister of Interior Abdul Amir al-Shammari on Sunday, Baqeri hailed the measures the Iraqi government has undertaken in border control.

"There is still evidence and concern about the presence of certain terrorist elements in the border region, and the Iraqi government is expected to keep up the border control job until the complete disarmament of those groups," the top Iranian general said.

He said joint activities of the two countries' border guards can help establish full security along the border.

Baqeri said 1,500 kilometers of border between Iran and Iraq "should be the border of friendship, trade and safe tourism."

The Iraqi interior minister, for his part, hailed the Iranian Armed Forces' joint cooperation with Iraq to enhance border security. Shammari said Iraq gives primacy to gaining full control over all border points with Iran.

At the end of the meeting, Baqeri toured an exhibition of Iraqi defense equipment.

Back on March 19, Iran and Iraq signed a security agreement in Baghdad encompassing coordination in protecting the border.

Under the agreement, the Iraqi government had promised to disarm terrorist and separatist groups based in the Kurdistan region by September 19, vacate their military barracks, and transfer them to the camps established by the Baghdad government.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on September 23 that his country has implemented all clauses of the security agreement.

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