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Iranian FM meets Kurdish leaders in Erbil

Feb. 13, 2009 at 11:04 AM

ERBIL, Iraq, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Kurdish officials welcomed the Iranian foreign minister in Erbil for his first-ever visit to the region, the Kurdistan Regional Government said in a statement.

"We in the Kurdistan region of Iraq want good neighborly relations based on mutual understanding, and I am happy to welcome this first visit of an Iranian foreign minister to the region," said Massoud Barzani, president of the KRG.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki arrived in Iraq Wednesday for a three-day visit to discuss economic and other bilateral relations.

Mottaki met with top Kurdish officials to discuss business opportunities and trade relations in the Kurdish provinces of Iraq, the KRG reported.

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani has said developing warm relations in the region is a top priority for his administration.

Mottaki said, meanwhile, Iran was interested in establishing consulates in the Kurdish capital, Erbil, and in the city of Sulaimaniya near the Iranian border.

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