Aug 15 2012
By Nashor Ali
Azzaman, August 15, 2012
Deputy-Prime Minister Roz Shawees has taken a big delegation with him on a visit to Tehran for talks with Iranian officials to boost relations between the countries.
The delegation includes Iraqi ministers of finance, trade and industry as well as the governor of the Central Bank.
The talks are to focus on cementing cooperation and expanding it to include new areas, according to the Iraqi ambassador to Tehran, Mohammed Majeed al-Sheikh.
The discussions will cover the establishment of an Iraqi bank in Tehran and payment of debts which Iraq owes Iran for the import of Iranian electricity, according to the ambassador.
Cooperation in the field of energy is set to see further expansion as the countries are working to build joint refineries and working together to develop their joint oil fields.
On the oil development front, the countries are to dig 22 joint oil wells and explore ways of increasing output from fields straddling their international borders.
Iran has emerged as Iraq’s main trade partner in the years since the 2003-U.S. invasion. Volume of trade is mushrooming with Iranian goods filling shelves of Iraqi shops and supermarkets.
Iran, a country under punitive European and U.S. sanctions, sees the expansion of ties with neighboring states an essential component of its efforts to offset their impact.
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