ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, will soon visit Baghdad before landing in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region where he will meet with senior Kurdish leaders, according to an Iranian envoy.
Saadullah Masoudiyan, the Iranian Consul in Sulaimani Province, told reporters on Saturday that the official would discuss bilateral and economic ties with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
Regarding Tehran’s role in influencing the formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet, Masoudiyan told reporters, “We certainly won’t have a role in that regard because this is an internal matter, but we will encourage parties to form a strong government to be able to resolve the region’s issues.”
The diplomatic representative mentioned that the groundwork has been done for Erbil and Baghdad to resolve their outstanding disputes, notably after the highly publicized visit by Masoud Barzani, the former President of the Kurdistan Region and the current head of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), to Baghdad.
Masoudiyan also noted a conference would be held next week in Sulaimani to bring Kurdish, Iraqi, and Iranian businessmen together to strengthen trade and boost the languishing economies.
“Zarif will visit Baghdad and Erbil. The purpose of his visit is to strengthen relations between Iran and the new government of Iraq, as well as the future government of the Kurdistan Region in order to develop economic ties, in the interest of all sides, in the new year,” he explained.
The Iranian envoy in Sulaimani also mentioned that Tehran would assist the Kurdistan Region in “fulfilling its import needs” with locally-sourced products from Iran.
On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Bahram Qassemi, had announced Zarif would travel to India and Iraq in “the near future.”
Zarif’s visit comes as the US President Donald Trump last November imposed a second round of sanctions on Iran, targeting the financial and energy sectors.
Editing by Nadia Riva