Tehran, Baghdad should jointly fight terrorism: Iraqi minister

Tehran, Dec 31 (IANS) Iran and Iraq as two neighbours should stay in the same front and cooperate in fighting terrorism, the visiting Iraqi Defence Minister Khalid al-Obeidi said here Tuesday.

Terrorism is “the common enemy of Iraq and its neighbours”, Obeidi said in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, adding that the threats by terrorism necessitated the cooperation between two neighbours.
The defence ministers of Iran and Iraq Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding to expand their cooperation to establish a national army in Iraq so that it could protect the country and its security.
Dehqan said Monday that Iran was ready to help Iraq increase its military power in the face of threats.
“We regard the Islamic Republic of Iran’s support for the Iraqi army and armed forces as a part of Iran’s defence and security strategies in the region,” Dehqan said in a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart.
Iran backs Iraq’s unity and territorial integrity, as well as the promotion of democracy in the Arab country on the basis of its constitution, Dehqan said.
The Iraqi defence minister said Baghdad pins hopes on the cooperation with Iran, describing Iran’s support for the Iraqi armed forces as a “strategic necessity”.
Obeidi arrived in Iran Monday for an official visit at the invitation of Dehqan.