Iranian president wraps up three-day visit to Iraq

This handout picture provided by the media office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani shows the top Shia cleric (L) meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) in the Iraqi central city of Najaf on March 13, 2019. (Via AFP)

Baghdad ( – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani left Iraq on Wednesday en route to Tehran following a three-day visit to the country, which is the first since he assumed office in 2013.

He left the country via Al Najaf international airport, a well-informed source told Baghdad Today news website.

Earlier in the day, Rouhani Rouhani held talks with Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf.

During the meeting, the Iranian president briefed Ayatollah Sistani on the outcome of his meetings with Iraqi officials as well as agreements about further promotion of ties, Press TV reported.

Meanwhile, Ayatollah Sistani welcomed any effort aimed at improving Iraq’s ties with its neighbors based on mutual interests, non-interference and respect for national sovereignty.

He also hailed the great sacrifices made by the Iraqis in the fight against Islamic State and praised the role of Iraq’s friends in defeating the terrorist group.

Ayatollah Sistani said fighting corruption and promoting public services were now the major challenges facing Iraq.

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