Ukraine foreign minister seeks support on visit to Iraq

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ERBIL - Ukraine's foreign minister visited Iraq on Monday for the first time since Russia's invasion, seeking diplomatic support from the Middle East where Moscow has been cultivating friends.

"We definitely see Iraq as a country that is capable of building bridges," Dmitro Kuleba said at a press conference alongside Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.

"We welcome every effort to restore peace in Ukraine. There is one key cornerstone that must be laid down at the very foundation of every effort: and that cornerstone is the restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity."

Hussein called for a ceasefire in Ukraine, saying this was the same message given to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who visited Iraq in February.

"We always strive to be a part of the solution. Wars end with negotiation and dialogue; that’s why we believe in the language of dialogue," Hussein said.

"That’s why when we negotiate or discuss with officials in Moscow, and Minister Lavrov was here in the same hall, we mentioned the same principles, and we told them that we support a cease-fire and the start of negotiations."

There are no peace talks in the Russia-Ukraine war. Moscow says Kyiv must first accept its annexation of Ukrainian territory; Ukraine says Russia must pull out its troops.

(Reporting by Amina Ismail; Editing by Peter Graff)

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