Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightIndia, Iraq to take...

India, Iraq to take energy ties to strategic level

India, Iraq to take energy ties to strategic level

New Delhi: India and Iraq Friday decided to take their energy trading cooperation to a higher level of a strategic partnership through joint ventures in oil exploration, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his visiting Iraqi counterpart Nouri-al-Maliki held talks and both sides inked four agreements.

In a statement after inking the agreements, Manmohan Singh said Maliki's visit would impart a "new dynamism" to their bilateral ties.

"Prime Minister Maliki and I have agreed that our energy trading relationship should be turned into a strategic partnership, including through joint ventures in oil exploration, petrochemical complexes and fertilizer plants," he said, adding that the MoU signed Friday would help in that.

Iraq is India's second-largest supplier of crude at more than 12 percent of total imports. Besides energy cooperation, both sides signed an agreement on water resource management, with India to help in management of the Tigris and Euphrates and other rivers in Iraq that have suffered in the long years of war.

An MoU was also inked between the respective foreign ministries on foreign office consultations and between the Foreign Service Institutes of India's external affairs ministry and the Iraqi counterpart for training diplomats.

Manmohan Singh also offered to help in reconstruction efforts in war-devastated Iraq as well as in rebuilding and upgrading higher education and healthcare institutions.

Both sides have also identified other areas of cooperation, including in agriculture, water resource management, pharmaceuticals, health care, information technology, infrastructure, low cost housing and trade, he said.

The Iraqi prime minister said his country has potential capacities and energy and India can contribute to developing the economy. Maliki, a Shiite, said Iraq has missed out a lot in the long years of war and sought cooperation from Indian private and public sector companies in helping rebuild his country's infrastructure and economy.

"Iraq is seeking the best opportunity to rebuild a democratic and modernised state," he said.

He assured Indian companies of protection and guarantees if they come to work in Iraq.

Maliki also said his country looked forward to the finalising of agreements in the field of agriculture, higher education, housing, trade, security cooperation and transport as soon as possible.

He said Iraq was seeking to "revalidate relationship" through a mechanism for followup action, which would be done at the prime ministerial level, the level of the bilateral joint commission and by the respective ministers and embassies. He also spoke of expanding cooperation to include parliamentary and cultural fields and in counter terrorism cooperation.

Iraq has gained a lot of experience through what it has suffered and knows the method to control extremism, he said.

Maliki is in India on a four-day visit, the first such high level bilateral visit in 38 years.

Show Full Article
Next Story