Saturday, August 14, 2004

Iranian Media: Iraqi PM Welcomes Invitation to Visit Iran

VOANews.com: "Iranian Media: Iraqi PM Welcomes Invitation to Visit Iran

Iran's official news agency reports that Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has welcomed an invitation to visit Iran, despite recent diplomatic tension between the two neighbors.
IRNA quotes the prime minister as saying Iraq wants "to establish good relations with neighboring countries, especially Iran" based on common interests. Both countries are predominately Shi'ite.

The news agency termed Mr. Allawi's remarks "conciliatory" following earlier comments by his defense minister accusing Iran of interfering in Iraq's internal affairs.

Iran is also eager to resolve the arrest of IRNA's Baghdad bureau chief and two of his Iraqi staff members. A fourth IRNA employee is unaccounted for, as is an Iranian diplomat who was kidnapped August 4."

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