Iran defense minister visits Baghdad surprisingly

Amir Hatami is expected to meet Iraqi PM and other officials to discuss regional security, fight against terror
BAGHDAD: Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami on Wednesday arrived in Iraqi capital Baghdad for a visit not publicized in advance.
An Iraqi army major-general told Anadolu Agency that Hatami planned to stay in Iraq for two days.
“An official reception attended by Iraqi Defense Minister Irfan al-Hayali will be held at Defense Ministry headquarters,” the army officer, who spoke anonymously as he was not allowed to speak to media, said.
While in Iraq, Hatami is expected to meet with Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and several other officials to discuss regional security and joint coordination against terrorism.
For the last two years, Iranian military advisers have been based in Iraq — upon Baghdad’s request — to assist in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group.
Hatami’s visit comes amid mounting regional tension after the U.S., U.K. and France on Saturday carried out a tripartite missile strike on Assad regime positions in Syria.
Last Thursday, the Iraqi government stated its neutrality vis-à-vis the Syria conflict, reiterating its support for a viable political solution.–AA

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