Aoun Meets Iraqi President, Premier in Baghdadإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Aoun traveled on an official two-day visit to Iraq on Tuesday at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Fouad Masum.
Aoun arrived at Baghdad International Airport where he was welcomed by Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Culture Minister Firyad Rawanduzi and members of the mission, Lebanon's ambassador to Iraq Ali Habhab and Iraqi ambassador in Lebanon Ali Abbas al-Amiri, the National News Agency said.
After the reception ceremony, the President and the accompanying delegation headed to al-Salam Presidential Palace where Aoun held bilateral talks with his Iraqi counterpart, followed by an extended meeting between the Lebanese and Iraqi sides.
In a joint press conference with Masum, Aoun said: “I congratulated His Excellency President Masum on the achievements made by Iraq in recent months in the fight against terrorism which have restored the confidence of Iraqis in their security and future.
“Lebanon had similar sufferings from the forces of darkness on its eastern border, but took the decision to confront it and we succeeded at defeating it in an honorable battle in autumn last year.”
The President added saying that Lebanon and Iraq agree “on the need for joint Arab and international efforts to combat terrorism in an effective and definitive manner not only based on the elimination of terrorists but also on combating the reasons and factors facilitating the emergence of the ideology of terror.”
On Lebanon's relations with Iraq, Aoun said the talks have “highlighted bilateral relations and the ways to promote them at various levels that fall in the interest of both peoples.”
Aoun later held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
“We held friendly and fruitful talks which will definitely push the bilateral relations between our two countries to new levels,” Aoun said during a joint press conference.
The two leaders also stressed “the importance of exchanging information and expertise related to the fight against terrorism and the need to exert unified international efforts in this confrontation,” Aoun added.
The delegation accompanying Aoun is comprised of Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq, Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan, Tourism Minister Avedis Kedanian, State Minister for Combating Corruption Nicolas Tueini and head of the Tashnag party MP Agop Pakradonian.
The Iraqi media tackled Aoun's state visit to Baghdad stressing the importance of enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries and peoples at various levels, especially in the political, economic and security fields.