TEHRAN: Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki Monday urged Iran to help rebuild his war-torn country during a visit to Tehran that came as his rival accused the country of meddling in Iraqi affairs.
Al-Maliki’s one-day stopover in Iran is part of a regional tour aimed at drumming up support for his bid to stay in power after an inconclusive March 7 general election.
Iranian media said the Iraqi premier held a series of meetings in Tehran, including with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
In his talks with Khamenei, Al-Maliki called Iraq’s relations with its eastern neighbor “strategic” and urged Tehran to help rebuild his country, which has been devastated by the 1980-88 war with Iran, decades of autocratic rule by Saddam Hussein and the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled the dictator.
“We ask Iran and our neighbors to support our reconstruction and to boost economic and commercial cooperation which will help improve stability in our region,” Al-Maliki said.
– Agence France-Presse