MINSK, 11 September (BelTA) – Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei met with Senior Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq Nizar Al-Khairalla, who is in Belarus on a working trip, the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BelTA.
The sides exchanged opinions about topical items on the international agenda and the situation in the Middle East. Vladimir Makei underlined Belarus' commitment to principles of international law and the importance of promoting peaceful initiatives and a political dialogue for the sake of stabilizing the situation and restoring peace in the region.
The sides discussed the state and prospects of Belarus-Iraq relations and spoke in favor of expanding interaction on all matters of mutual interest. The available potential for advancing trade and economic cooperation was noted. Vladimir Makei made it clear Belarus is ready to participate in Iraqi government programs on restoring economy and infrastructure. Belarus is ready to supply vehicles, machines, equipment, and technologies for this purpose.
The Iraqi side mentioned interest in further cooperation with Belarus in the spheres of education, healthcare, and tourism.
The sides agreed that tighter cooperation between the relevant government agencies and representatives of the private sector could give a strong impulse to the advancement of economic ties.
Vladimir Makei and Nizar Al-Khairalla confirmed the intention to bolster the comprehensive dialogue between the two friendly countries.
Consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs of Belarus and Iraq also took place on 11 September. The Belarusian delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Dapkiunas. These were the first consultations between top officials of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Iraqi one after the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs visited Belarus in 2015.
The delegations discussed a wide range of questions on the bilateral agenda as well as opportunities and specific ways to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in various spheres.
Andrei Dapkiunas and Nizar Al-Khairalla mentioned the exceptional coordination and the encouraging role the ministries of foreign affairs play in invigorating bilateral cooperation.
Nizar Al-Khairalla noted a considerable improvement of the security situation in Iraq in the last few years and the emergence of multiple new opportunities for advancing cooperation with other countries in the area of doing business, social and municipal infrastructure, education, and tourism.
The interest of Iraqi partners in establishing broad cooperation with Belarus in the sphere of agribusiness was mentioned as well as an interest in importing Belarusian food. The Iraqi side is also interested in considering the possibility of making Belarusian agricultural machines in Iraq and starting full-cycle agricultural production in Iraq using Belarusian cutting-edge farming and processing technologies.
Since the country needs to be restored after the conflict, the head of the Iraqi delegation mentioned there is a great demand for Belarusian public transport solutions in Iraq. The sides agreed the relevant agencies should continue discussing the matter as a priority.
The sides also talked at length about prospects of expanding cooperation in the area of higher education (training of Iraqi students in Belarusian universities), tourism and sport (organization of a football game between the national teams of the two countries).