Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is set to visit Tehran this week, on a two-day official trip to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries, a 1975 border agreement and the Syrian civil war.
“Maliki will pay an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran late this week, to discuss the promotion of relations between the two countries, as well as issues in the region,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement Sunday.
The trip mark the Iraqi PM’s first trip to Iran since President Hassan Rouhani came to power in August
Iranian media reported that Maliki would meet with Iranian officials and visit a holy site for Shi’ite Muslims during the trip.
Ties between the two Shi’ite-majority countries — who fought an eight-year war against each other in the 1980s, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives — have warmed significantly since the ouster of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the 2003 US invasion of the country, but relations have been complicated by US presence in the region and reported Iran-backed militias fighting American forces in Iraq.