Iran supports Iraq's progress - President Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran is ready to expand relations and step up cooperation with its "friend and neighboring country" Iraq, Press TV reported.
In a phone conversation with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Saturday, Ahmadinejad hailed the formation of Iraq's new government and said the development was a great victory for the Iraqi parliament, nation and its political factions.
The Iranian president stressed Tehran's support for Iraq's progress, development and stability and added, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to cooperate with Iraq and to expand its relations with its friend and neighboring country Iraq."
Maliki expressed gratitude for Iran's support of Iraqi nation and government and said, "The Iraqi government wants to expand its relations with the Iran."
The Iraqi premier noted that through the introduction of cabinet members in the near future, important steps would be taken for the country's development.
After eight months of political deadlock, Iraq's main factions recently reached a power-sharing deal and agreed to form a national unity government.
The deal on top government posts brings together Shias, Sunnis and Kurds in an arrangement similar to the previous Iraqi government, which can help prevent religious or ethnic conflict in the country.
According to the agreement, Maliki's alliance will stay in office for another term, while Jalal Talabani from the Kurdish alliance will remain president.