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Premier Li meets Iraqi PM

Updated: Dec 23,2015 3:36 PM

Premier Li Keqiang has met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi. The two leaders agreed to push forward cooperation in various fields.

This is Al-Abadi’s first official visit to China since taking office last year. The Premier held a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Al-Abadi is seeking to promote relations with China in all aspects, especially in investment and rebuilding infrastructure.

The two leaders exchanged views on various issues. The Premier said China firmly supports Iraq in its bid to maintain independence, safeguard sovereign and territorial integrity as well as its efforts for peace and stability in the region.

“I believe your visit this time will inject new impetus to the development of bilateral ties. Iraq is a significant partner of China in West Asia and North Africa. China attaches great importance to its relations with Iraq and is willing to work with you to push forward the development of China-Iraq ties,” he said.

Al-Abadi firstly expressed his condolences to the relatives of the people who have suffered in the massive landslide in Southern China’s Shenzhen.

Al-Abadi also said Iraq highly appreciated China’s achievements in development and its important role in upholding justice in international affairs. He said Iraq has given high priority to enhancing ties with China and is willing to step up cooperation with China in the fields of energy, telecommunication, people-to-people exchanges and anti-terrorism.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of several cooperation deals.

“The two sides have agreed that extracting and marketing crude oil are significant aspects for practical cooperation between China and Iraq. Iraq will use Chinese equipment and technology to develop its oilfields, and the two countries will further deepen cooperation in trade and economy,” said Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming.

As an important country along one of the Belt and Road Initiative’s routes, Iraq is looking for more investment from Chinese companies into its oil industry and infrastructure sector.

Al-Abadi said there is a great interest by the two peoples to deepen relations in the energy, finance and military fields, and that cooperation is expected to help secure regional stability and economic reconstruction.