Iran's Rafsanjani to travel to Iraq for three-day visit

Iran's influential former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will travel to neighboring Iraq on Monday for a three-day visit, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Rafsanjani, who currently is chairman of the Assembly of Experts and head of the Expediency Council, will hold talks with Iraqi officials on sharing Iran's experiences for the reconstruction of Iraq and the country's development programs, Xinhua reported.
"Iran believes that Iraq is among the significant countries in the Islamic world and can play a very prominent role among Arab as well as other Muslim states," Rafsanjani was quoted as saying in his meeting with visiting Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi on Sunday.
Rafsanjani's trip comes following Iraqi President Jalal Talabani 's visit to Iran from Thursday to Saturday, which was the Iraqi leader's fourth trip to Iran since he assumed the presidency in 2005.
Iran and Iraq fought a cruel eight-year war in the 1980s. However, bilateral relationship has been picking up since the fall of Iraq's former President Saddam Hussein and his Sunni power in 2003.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled to Iraq in March 2008 in the first ever visit by an Iranian president to the neighboring country.
In January, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki paid an official visit to Tehran to improve bilateral ties, which was al- Maliki's fourth visit to Iran since he took office in 2006.

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