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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 March 2008, 11:52 GMT
In pictures: Ahmadinejad visit

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and Jalal Talabani stand for the national anthems of the two countries - 2 March 2008

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to former enemy Iraq is the first by an Iranian president. The two countries fought a long, bloody war in the 1980s.

Jalal Talabani (left) and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad walk down the red carpet at the Iraqi president's Baghdad residence

Mr Ahmadinejad was given a red carpet welcome as he was greeted by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani at his Baghdad residence.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and Jalal Talabani (right) at a news conference after talks with Jalal Talabani - 2 March 2008

Mr Talabani described Mr Ahmadinejad's visit as "historic" and said Iraq would try to oust Iranian rebels based on the mountainous frontier between the two countries.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a news conference after talks with Jalal Talabani - 2 March 2008

Mr Ahmadinejad said a "united, powerful and developed Iraq" was in the region's interests, adding: "A visit to Iraq without the dictator [Saddam Hussein] is a truly happy one".

Iraqi soldier at a Baghdad checkpoint - 2 March 2008

Security has been tightened in the Iraqi capital for the two-day visit.

US soldiers on patrol in Baghdad - 2 March 2008

But US forces did not provide any additional security for Mr Ahmadinejad. The US accuses Iran of training and arming Shia militias.

An anti-Iranian banner is strung up in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq

The Americans are not the only ones wary of Mr Ahmadinejad's visit; this banner in Kirkuk reads: "We denounce Iran's intervention in Iraqi affairs".

A man in Baghdad's Sadr City Shia district watches TV coverage of President Ahmadinejad's visit - 2 March 2008

However, nearly two-thirds of Iraqis are Shia Muslim and are happy to see closer ties with mainly-Shia Iran.

Iran leader in landmark Iraq trip
02 Mar 08 |  Middle East

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