Iraq PM's visit to France 'aimed at enhancing partnership'

Baghdad, Jan 27 (IANS): The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani's visit to France was aimed at enhancing the bilateral partnership, securing French support for Iraq's reconstruction and restoring non-stop flights between the two countries.

"The visit comes in the context of strengthening partnership, enhancing cooperation in the field of combating terrorism," and seeking to attract greater participation of French enterprises in the reconstruction of Iraq, Xinhua news agency quoted Ministry spokesman Ahmed al-Sahaf as saying.

Iraq also attempts to restore the direct flight between Baghdad and Paris and to have the ban on the country's airlines lifted, he added.

Leading a high-level government delegation, the Prime Minister left on Thursday for Paris on an official visit, according to his office.

Upon his arrival in Paris, he met French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace.

In a tweet on Saturday, the Prime Minister said: "A short while ago, (my) friend Macron and I signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement, which lays down a roadmap for expanding the horizons of cooperation between our two countries, in various fields.

"We will continue to work with friends for serious partnerships that guarantee Iraq achieving economic reform and sustainable development, as we drew and planned in the government program."

The past years have witnessed deepened relations between Iraq and France.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Iraq in 2020 and 2021, while France's TotalEnergies signed a deal with the Iraqi government in 2021, agreeing to invest in oil, gas and renewables projects in southern Iraq for 25 years.



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Title: Iraq PM's visit to France 'aimed at enhancing partnership'

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