FM: Iraq guarantees Azerbaijani pilgrims’ security (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 24 / Trend A. Tagiyeva /
Every year tens of thousands of pilgrims from Muslim countries visit the holy places in Iraq. Their security is the responsibility of the country, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in an exclusive interview with Trend on Saturday.
"Pilgrims from Azerbaijan, as well as from other countries will be in Iraq in perfect safety," Zebari said.
Minister said that his visit is very important, as this is Zebari's first visit to Azerbaijan.
"We had a meeting with the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of Communication during a day and a half. This indicates high respect for us," Minister said.
Zebari said that Iraq is interested in developing bilateral relations between the countries. Iraq and Azerbaijan cooperate in the energy, culture, trade, investment and tourism, in particular Azerbaijani pilgrims visit Iraq, he said.
"We must create a legal framework to develop bilateral relations, he said. The development of all spheres of cooperation with Azerbaijan is the priority for us."
He said that Azerbaijan must open its embassy in Baghdad to develop the bilateral relations.
"The Azerbaijani president and prime minister promised that they will take all necessary actions to open an embassy in Iraq," he said.
Minister said that Iraq expressed its gratitude to Azerbaijan for the participation of 150 Azerbaijani peacekeepers to restore stability in Iraq. Azerbaijani peacekeepers have successfully fulfilled their mission of ensuring strategic security of dams, particularly the Haditha dams, Zebari said.
"Their participation, even if it was symbolic, was of great importance," he said. "We appreciate Azerbaijan's support to liberate Iraq from the dictatorial regime. This contributed to further expansion of bilateral relations."
Zebari's two-day official visit to Azerbaijan began on December 23.