Inter-American problems and regional policy
Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Iraq
On October 7, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a working visit to the Republic of Iraq. In Baghdad, Sergey Lavrov met with President of Iraq Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Speaker of the Council of Representatives (Parliament) Mohamed al-Halbousi. He also held talks with Foreign Minister Mohamad Alhakim. While in Erbil, the Russian Foreign Minister held talks with President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party Masoud Barzani.
During an in-depth discussion of the goals of the further development of the traditionally friendly relations between Russia and Iraq, the sides confirmed their resolve to strengthen and broaden their business partnership in energy, industry and agriculture and highlighted a growing interest of Russian companies in contributing to the post-conflict restoration projects in Iraq. In this context, they also noted the effective work of the Russian-Iraqi Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, which held its eighth meeting in Baghdad in April of this year. The sides underscored a mutual desire to continue to strengthen bilateral military technical cooperation.
During the talks with Kurdish leaders, the Russian Minister expressed Russia’s readiness to build up interaction with the Iraqi Kurdish Autonomous Region based on mutual benefit and respect for the principle of harmonising Iraq’s national and regional interests. An agreement was reached to continue substantive contacts between the two sides’ companies with a view to making practical arrangements.
The Foreign Minister of Russia confirmed Russia’s consistent policy in support of the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Iraq and pointed out the importance of strengthening intra-Iraqi consensus through an inclusive nationwide dialogue in the interests of the country’s basic political forces as well as ethnic and religious groups.
The sides held a detailed exchange of opinions on the current regional issues, including Syria and the Persian Gulf region, as well as on possibilities for a Middle East settlement. It was noted that, in principle, Moscow and Baghdad hold similar or identical positions on these issues. In this context, the sides highlighted the importance of consolidating international efforts against terrorism, including within the framework of the joint information centre in Baghdad, which was set up by Russia, Iraq, Iran and Syria and which has proven to be an effective mechanism.