Iraqi official: Egypt’s prime minister to visit Baghdad soon

Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf will visit Iraq soon, according to the head of the Iraqi parliament's foreign relations committee, Hammam Hammoudi.

After meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Araby on Monday, Hammoudi said several Egyptian officials will visit Iraq shortly.

Asked if Iraq fears Egyptian-Iranian rapprochement, Hammoudi said it does not and stressed that rapprochement among any countries in the region would benefit the whole region, especially if it occurred between two major countries such as Egypt and Iran.

Conflict benefits no one but a nation’s enemy, he said, hinting that both Egypt and Iran belong to one Islamic nation.

Concerning some Gulf countries' reservations about the rapprochement, Hammoudi said, “What hinders a dialogue being held among the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Iran and all Islamic countries?”

Under former President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, Egypt was a strong ally of many Gulf countries but had severed ties with Iran.

Iran has reservations about Gulf support to the Bahraini government, which suppressed protests fueled by Bahrain's Shia majority.

Hammoudi said he and Araby discussed joint issues for the two countries, such as boosting strategic accord between them and settling Egyptian debts to Iraq, which would support the Egyptian economy.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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