Iraqi, Lebanese presidents discuss fostering bilateral relations in Baghdad

Iraqi President Fuad Masum (front left) and his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun (front right) during the latter’s visit to Baghdad

Baghdad ( – Iraqi President Fuad Masum has called for reinforcing relations between Baghdad and Beirut in all fields in the coming period.

During a meeting with his visiting Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baghdad, Masum praised Lebanon’s stance in support of the Iraqi government and people during the anti-terror war, according to the Independent Press Agency on Tuesday.

Aoun, for his part, called for unifying the Arab stance to solve all regional issues ahead of the upcoming Arab summit, slated for March in Saudi Arabia.

He also expressed his country’s support for efforts exerted by the Iraqi government to maintain the unity of the Iraqi people.

Earlier in the day, Aoun started an official visit to Iraq, during which he will hold talks with a host of top Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Salim al-Jabouri.

Lebanese sources told Baghdad Today news website that, “the extradition of two dangerous criminals, who are now held in Lebanon and still wanted on terror charges in Iraq, will top Aoun’s talks with Iraqi officials.”

“The two wanted criminals are Lebanese Maan Bashour, who was found guilty of recruiting youth to fight in Iraq, and senior Islamic State leader Abu Jaafar al-Iraqi, who was convicted of planning terrorist attacks in Iraq,” the sources noted.

The Lebanese president will also discuss with Iraqi officials ways of “strengthening military cooperation and exchanging military expertise between Baghdad and Beirut, particularly in the fields of mine clearance, chemical weapons, and street fighting,” the sources said.

Aoun’s visit to Iraq comes at an invitation from Masum.

After ending his Iraqi visit, Aoun will fly to Armenia to start a two-day visit to the Asian country at an invitation from its president Serzh Sargsyan.

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