*Iraqi politicians: Qatar important partner for Iraq in reconstruction phase
Iraqi politicians have highlighted a new start in the relations between Iraq and Qatar following the election of a president and the formation of a new Iraqi government which is determined to extend bridges of co-operation with the Arab and regional neighbours.
Talking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Mahjoub said that the visit of HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani to Baghdad is a demonstration of the desire of Qatar and Iraq to develop and improve prospects of co-operation through activating the memorandum of understanding signed between the two parties, convening meetings of the Iraqi-Qatari Committee regularly and contributing to the reconstruction of Iraq.
Mahjoub said that HE the Foreign Minister’s visit to Baghdad is the first by a Qatari official to Iraq after the formation of the new government and comes within the framework of supporting Iraq and enhancing co-operation between the two countries.
Mahjoub said HE the Foreign Minister’s visit and his meeting with Iraqi political leaders are messages of support for Iraq in the reconstruction phase after the country’s victory over the ISIS group.
The visit, he said, reviewed co-operation with Qatar in the sector of ports through activating maritime connectivity and opening shipping lines as well. It also allowed the exchange of views on regional developments, the security of the Gulf, the crisis in Syria and the sanctions against Iran and the war in Yemen. In addition, an official talks session was held that focused on upgrading relations between the two countries, and it was agreed to convene the joint ministerial committee. He stressed that Qatar is "an important partner in the reconstruction of Iraq," pointing to the co-operation in the fields of oil and gas.
Mahjoub stressed that the visit was highly welcome, especially that the Qatari Foreign Minister was accompanied by a delegation that includes government officials and economic figures who met with their counterparts in Iraq. This visit will bring important results that take the relations between the two countries to new heights, he said.
Chairman of Al-Fath Alliance, Hadi al-Amiri, said that Qatar has announced its support for Iraq, adding that the Qatari delegation also expressed hope that Iraq would take up its regional and international role.
Al-Amiri said that the coming period will witness the openness of Iraq as well as the development of balanced relations with all, in addition to exploring large investment areas that can be opened between Baghdad and Doha.
The head of National Alliance Coalition, Dr Iyad Allawi said that Iraq looks forward to strengthening relations that achieve common interests with Qatar, calling for encouraging Qatari investments in Iraq, especially in the field of reconstruction and development of the private sector as well as benefiting from the Qatari experience in this field.
Allawi pointed out that the inter-Arab differences reflected negatively on the unity of the Arab position on crucial issues, in addition to the tragic situation experienced by a number of brotherly countries. He stressed the need to normalise the Arab situation and open a new page in relations.
Head of the National Axis Alliance, Sheikh Khamis al-Khanjar, said that the Iraqi-Qatari relations will witness further progress owing to the two countries' desire to develop and improve prospects of co-operation at all levels, in the interest of the two peoples, stressing the importance of openness to the countries of the region to benefit from and exchange successful experiences between Iraq and Qatar, especially Qatar's participation in the reconstruction process.
Talking to QNA, MP Nayef al-Shammari, a member of the House of Representatives of Nineveh province, said that Iraq is open to Arab, regional and Islamic countries, and wants to see better relations with all countries that respect Iraq's sovereignty. "We want to solve all problems through continuous dialogue and not through threats in the media."
He expressed his wishes to see more countries visiting Iraq, such as the Qatar, to learn about what is going on in Iraq. He added that Iraq wants Iraqi-Qatari relations to be in the service of Iraqi citizens.
For his part, Sheikh Abdul-Khaliq al-Azzawi, a member of the House of Representatives of Diyala province, announced that a delegation of the Iraqi Council of Representatives will pay a visit to Doha soon, adding: "The visit of HE the Foreign Minister contributed to the consolidation of relations especially in terms of reconstruction."
MP Laith al-Dulaimi praised Qatar's positions towards Iraq, adding, in a statement to QNA, that Qatar has great positions and provided much support to the Iraqi people. "We welcome all delegations at all levels, and we hope that other Arab countries will have the same contact with our government and our people," he said.
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