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24 Aug 2014

Makei pays official visit to Iraq

MINSK, 25 August (BelTA) – Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei paid an official visit to Iraq on 23-24 August, BelTA has learned.

“The Belarusian delegation included representatives of the Industry Ministry and the Belneftekhim concern, officials of the Foreign Ministry,” the ministry said. The Foreign Ministry also noted that it was the first visit of the Belarusian delegation of such a level to Iraq since 2003.

On 24 August the Foreign Minister of Belarus met with the President of Iraq Muhammad Fuad Masum. The President of Iraq hailed the visit of the Head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry as a signal of support for the Iraqi leadership in the fight against extremists. “Vladimir Makei condemned the actions of terrorist groups, which led to widespread casualties among the Iraqi population. The Minister confirmed Belarus’ readiness to expand all-round partnership with Iraq,” the Foreign Ministry added.

At the meetings with Acting Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri Kamil al-Maliki and Designate Prime Minister of Iraq Haider Al-Abadi Vladimir Makei focused on possible ways to enhance trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. “In this connection, the importance of holding the next meeting of the joint Belarusian-Iraqi commission on trade and economic cooperation was acknowledged,” the ministry said.

During the meeting with Speaker of the Parliament of Iraq Salim Abdullah al-Jabouri Vladimir Makei took note of the importance to intensify inter-parliamentary cooperation as part of the bilateral political dialogue.

Apart from that, Vladimir Makei discussed with Hussain al-Shahristani, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy of Iraq, the possibility of increasing the supply of Belarusian equipment to the Iraqi market, the implementation of joint projects in various fields, as well as the establishment of closer contacts between the business communities of the two countries.

During the talks with Hoshyar Zebari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Vladimir Makei stressed the need to give new impetus to relations between Belarus and Iraq. “In this regard, the parties discussed the prospects of the exchange of visits at various levels, noted the need to improve the legal base of bilateral relations. The Iraqi side expressed interest in resuming direct flights between Minsk and Baghdad, as well as opening of the Belarusian embassy in Baghdad,” the Foreign Ministry of Belarus said.

In the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, the Foreign Minister of Belarus and Chairman of the National Investment Commission of Iraq Sami Rauf al-Araji signed the Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Republic of Iraq.

Under the auspices of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Iraq Vladimir Makei held a meeting with Iraqi businessmen, which was attended by the leaders of more than 40 major Iraqi companies. Deputy Industry Minister Gennady Svidersky and Belneftekhim Deputy Chairman Vladimir Sizov held a presentation of products of the subordinate enterprises.

“The Iraqi side expressed interest in the implementation of projects with Belarusian partners in the fields of industry, agriculture, tourism, and education. An agreement was reached to organize a visit for businessmen of Iraq to Belarus,” the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said.

While in Iraq the Foreign Minister of Belarus gave an interview to Iraqi media.

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