Iraq, Qatar agree to boost economic, energy cooperation during emir's visit to Baghdad

Qatar and Iraq have inked a series of economic and energy deals during a visit to Baghdad by the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Via AP news wire
Thursday 15 June 2023 20:07 BST

Qatar and Iraq inked a series of economic and energy deals on Thursday during a visit to Baghdad by the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The two countries signed a broad agreement to expand “cooperation in politics, economics, energy, and investment,” Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said in a statement.

They also inked specific deals on transportation, development projects and energy, including “the establishment of a joint oil company, and the construction of an oil refinery” and an agreement on hotel construction, he said.

Qatar’s state-owned Qatar News Agency reported that the emir had announced his country’s intent to “invest $5 billion in a number of sectors in Iraq in the coming years.”

Iraq has sought to strengthen its previously strained relationship with its wealthy Gulf Arab neighbors in recent years and court foreign investment — efforts that have begun to bear fruit.

Last month, Baghdad hosted a one-day conference that convened transport ministers and representatives from Iraq, the Gulf Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Jordan, culminating in the announcement of plans for a $17 billion regional transportation project intended to facilitate the flow of goods from Asia to Europe.

In April, QatarEnergy, the Gulf country’s state-run petroleum company, announced it had agreed to buy a 25% stake in a massive gas project in Iraq.

Iraq urgently needs to develop local gas resources to meet electricity demands, especially during the peak summer months. The country is heavily reliant on Iranian gas and electricity imports.

Al-Sudani also said Thursday that Iraq, which has suffered decades of upheaval and violence, now “enjoys security and political stability, which makes it a promising environment” for projects.

“Iraq has regained its normal position and role in the region, and it is ready to work with brothers and friends to achieve peace, prosperity and development,” he said.

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