Iran will start rebuilding Baghdad soon: Tehran mayor

Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf announced on Monday that despite some security problems Iranian companies will soon start implementing infrastructure projects in Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

“In the near future Iraqi people will feel the presence of the Tehran Municipality in the implementation of projects in all areas,” Qalibaf told reporters in a joint press conference with Baghdad Mayor Sabir Al-Isawi.

“Now that a popular government has taken the helm in Iraq it is an opportunity to seriously expand cooperation in political and economic areas,” he asserted.

Qalibaf said although the Iraqi people, especially Baghdad residents, are facing some problems and shortages, Iraq is a rich country and has the potential for development.

“In light of affinities between the two nations (of Iran and Iraq) we view it as a religious duty to be at the service of Baghdad municipality and residents at the time of reconstruction.”

The Tehran mayor added there are “particular” problems which should be taken into consideration because they could hinder cooperation between the two municipalities.

One is that the works should flow easily without being caught in red tape and the other is the “security issues” which may affect the activities, he explained.

He said such problems should be resolved through “planning”.

Qalibaf arrived in Baghdad at the head of a delegation on Friday for striking cooperation agreements between Tehran and Baghdad municipalities.

During his stay in Baghdad he held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council Chairman Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, Deputy President Adel Abdul Mahdi, and Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh.

In the meeting the Tehran mayor discussed ways to develop cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad municipalities in rebuilding Baghdad and the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Qalibaf said on Saturday that the two municipalities have agreed to discuss the establishment of four joint working groups. “We proposed the formation of four expert groups in engineering, traffic and urban transportation, urban services, as well as educational and cultural services which were welcome by Iraqi side,” he told the Mehr News Agency.
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