ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Ali al-Hakim in Moscow on Jan. 30 to discuss the current situation in Syria and the region, a Russian spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“On Jan. 29 to 31, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali al-Hakim will be on a working visit to Moscow; this will be his first trip to Russia as head of the Foreign Ministry,” Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said during a briefing in Moscow, Russia’s Tass news agency reported.
Zakharova mentioned that both foreign diplomats would discuss critical issues on the global and regional agenda “with an emphasis on the situation around Syria and Iran.”
They will highlight issues of joint efforts in terrorism on regional and international levels as well as religious extremism, she noted.
The ministers will also discuss practical steps to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries, given the upcoming eighth session of the inter-governmental Russia – Iraq commission for trade, economic, and scientific-technical cooperation planned to be held in spring in Baghdad. Hakim is co-chairman of the commission.
“We note with appreciation that bilateral political dialogue is regular and constructive,” Zakharova added. “It is characterized by a high level of trust, closeness, or identity of stances on key international and Middle East issues.”
Iraq maintains close relations with neighboring Syria. Last October, then-Foreign Minister of Iraq Ibrahim al-Jaafari visited Damascus and met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.
Moreover, Hakim recently expressed Iraq’s support to Syria to return to the regional Arab League, whose membership had been suspended since the civil war began in 2011.
Over the past few years, Iraqi air force and artilleries, in coordination with and consent from Damascus, launched several attacks inside Syrian territory on the border against Islamic State positions.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany