Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri received this evening at the Center House the Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and the accompanying delegation.
After the meeting Minister al-Jaafari said: We discussed with Prime Minister Hariri a number of points and conveyed to him our wishes to form a government as soon as possible. This coincides with the formation of the government in Iraq. Therefore, we look forward to the formation of the two governments soon, and the strengthening of the relations to achieve the common bilateral interests. We also discussed the objectives that bring our two countries together and we thanked Lebanon for its support of Iraq in the face of terrorism, which has achieved an unprecedented Arab and international consensus, as happened in the Arab League in the face of Daesh and for the unity of Iraq and its sovereignty, and Lebanon's stance was well known.
He added: We also look forward to be present in Lebanon at the level of companies because the economic cooperation can enrich and reinforce the relations between our countries. We also talked about the Iraqi security experience that is worth studying. Our country should be proud that it made a joint Iraqi, Arab and international achievement in defeating terrorism on its territory, which enable the countries threatened by terrorism to benefit from this experience through its strong political and security network.
Question: Did you convey any particular message to Premier Hariri?
Al-Jaafari: We discussed the contents of several messages including the ambition to develop the relations between our countries. We also look at Lebanon's unity just as we look at Iraq's unity and we believe the Lebanon and Iraq's strength is a strength for all the Arab countries.
Question: Do you think there is real link between the formation of the Lebanese and the Iraqi governments? And what is the role that Iraq may play in the process of opening the crossings?
Al-Jaafari: There is no tangible link where one affects the other, but there is no doubt that the formation of the government in Lebanon and in Iraq is a source of strength for us. When Lebanon prevails and makes political and economic achievements, this represents a strength for Iraq and vice versa. As for the issue of crossings, we are interested in them and we think that we should overcome this stage and open the crossings between us and the neighboring countries. This step is civilized and has common interests for many countries.
Question: Will Iraq play the mediator between Lebanon and Syria in re-establishing the relations between the two countries?
Al-Jaafari: Iraq is ready to take the initiative to help in everything that would bring the countries closer and benefit them, and it will spare no effort in this regard. Iraq has already played this role between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and between Syria and the other countries. Iraq wants to spread the atmosphere of harmony because security, politics and economic exchange are inseparable.
Source: National News Agency