Iraq Launches Comprehensive Strategic Dialogue with GCC

Iraq Launches Comprehensive Strategic Dialogue with GCC

Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 07:00
Iraqis workers repair sewage line in eastern Mosul, Iraq May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Baghdad - Hamzah Moustafa
The Iraqi government announced the launching of a plan for a comprehensive strategic dialogue with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for 2018-2023.

The Secretariat General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers said in a statement on Monday that the Cabinet has approved a plan of joint action to promote cooperation between Iraq and the GCC, for the period extending from 2018 till 2023.

The plan aims at developing new visions to widen the horizons of cooperation, according to the statement.

“This plan was approved last week during the cabinet meeting and aims to develop relations between Iraq and the GCC,” Saad al-Hadithi, spokesman for the office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He added that the cooperation plan would cover the economic, security, investment, and cultural fields, as well as other areas considered necessary and important for the development of the Iraqi-GCC relationship.

Al-Hadithi stressed that the new plan would serve the interests of both sides, noting that sub-committees have been formed to work on the implementation of the program within the specified time frame.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Iraqi Economic Expert Bassem Jamil Antoun said that Baghdad was seeking to bolster relations with the GCC, because of the importance it attaches to such cooperation after years of separation that have allowed other states, mainly Iran, to fill the vacuum and interfere in the country’s affairs.

“Iraq, through this comprehensive plan and strategic dialogue with the Gulf states, is translating its desire to have these countries the priority to enter the Iraqi market, across all fields and areas,” he noted.

Antoun said there were around 250 major government industrial projects and 30,000 private projects that were almost paralyzed and needed capital, in addition to important agricultural and housing needs.

“This strategic dialogue will be for the benefit of both sides, in terms of economic, development and investment, and also at the political level.

This is an important factor in curbing any party that would not like to see the relations between Iraq and the Gulf develop,” he stated.

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