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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightKeen to elevate ties,...

Keen to elevate ties, India tells Iraq

Keen to elevate ties, India tells Iraq

New Delhi: India said Friday it is keen to elevate ties with Iraq - its second largest supplier of crude oil - from that of a buyer-seller to a broad-based one involving equity partnership in oil production and joint ventures in oil exploration.

This was conveyed by President Pranab Mukherjee to visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamil al-Maliki who called on him at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Maliki is here on a four-day visit, in the first such high-level bilateral visit in 38 years.

Mukherjee also said that India remains committed to assisting Iraq in the process of rebuilding its infrastructure and institutions. Indian entrepreneurs and Indian industries are eager to engage with Iraq, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement.

Mukherjee said India cherishes its cordial and friendly relations with Iraq and touched upon their historical ties.

"Thousands of Indians undertake annual pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines of Najaf and Karbala. With the emergence of democracy in Iraq, relations between the two countries are entering a new phase," the statement said.

Mukherjee said: "Iraq has become India's second largest crude oil supplier. This is a mutually beneficial partnership. India desires to elevate the relationship from a buyer-seller into a broad-based one with equity partnership in oil production, joint ventures in oil exploration, petrochemical complexes, fertilizer plants...."

He said the different MoUs to be signed during Iraqi PM's visit would establish the institutional framework to enhance co-operation between the two countries.

The president said India has been a committed partner in Iraq's progress and development and will remain so as Iraq undertakes its reconstruction and rebuilding efforts.

"India remains committed to assist Iraq in the process of rebuilding its infrastructure and institutions. Indian entrepreneurs and Indian industries are eager to engage with Iraq."

Maliki "warmly reciprocated the president's words and said India and Iraq were two friendly countries seeking to strengthen their relations and maintain a high level of contacts".

He said India and Iraq complement each other. "India needs energy while Iraq needs investment to generate employment."

He said India's experience in democracy has been applauded throughout the world and there is much that Iraq can learn from the Indian experience, the statement said.

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