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Egyptian-Iraqi Higher Committee

Sunday، 01 November 2020 01:19 PM

Meetings of the Egyptian-Iraqi Higher Committee kicked off on Saturday 31/10/2020 under the chairmanship of the prime ministers of both countries.

The meetings will discuss several issues of mutual concern, topped by the reconstruction of Iraq, and ways of boosting economic relations between the two countries, the National Iraqi News Agency (NINA) reported.

The meetings will also discuss a role that could be played by Egyptian companies willing to invest in Iraq, as well as ways of increasing the volume of trade exchange between the two countries.

Preparatory meetings

Friday 30/10/2020

International Cooperation Minister Rania el Mashat said the political leaderships in both Egypt and Iraq have a strong will to iron out obstacles hindering enhancing cooperation and achieving strategic integration at economic, trade and investment levels.

Speaking during the opening session of the preparatory meetings for the Egyptian-Iraqi Higher Committee, Mashat said her ministry is working hard to remove any impediments obstructing the implementation of any decision taken by the joint committee.

The Higher Committee will convene on Saturday under the co-chairman of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli and his Iraqi counterpart Mustafa Al Kadhimi.

The two premiers will be updated tomorrow on the outcome of today’s meetings and suggestions to boost economic and trade cooperation, she said.

She unveiled suggestions to increase trade exchange and industrial cooperation, set up a logistics area to store Egyptian goods along the Iraqi-Jordanian borders, establish a trade center for Egyptian products in Baghdad, exchange data of exporters and importers and secure free movement of Egyptian commodities into Iraqi markets and vice versa.

She said Egyptian companies are keen to take part in infrastructure projects in Iraq as part of Iraqi government's efforts to rebuild governorates that were damaged in terrorist operations.

Egyptian construction materials' exports have a great chance to access the Iraqi market within the coming period, she said, calling for activating the land route between Iraq and Egypt to contribute to promoting trade and increasing investments.

The Egyptian-Iraqi business council will hold a meeting on the sidelines of the committee meeting with the participation of Iraqi and Egyptian businessmen.

Saturday 31/10/2020

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli arrived in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, leading a high-level ministerial delegation to the Egyptian-Iraqi Higher Committee.

The preparatory meetings of the committee kicked off on Wednesday 28/10/2020, while today's main sessions are set to be co-chaired by the Egyptian and Iraqi premiers.

The Egyptian delegation comprises the ministers of electricity and renewable energy, petroleum, manpower, international cooperation, health, housing, transport, civil aviation as well trade and industry.

The CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones alongside a host of other officials also accompany Madbouli to Baghdad.

A number of Egyptian and Iraqi businessmen will take part in the joint committee talks and the business forum, which is set to be held on the sidelines of the committee.

During his visit, Madbouli is scheduled to hold talks with senior Iraqi officials.

The current session of the higher committee tackles a set of files and topics of mutual interest, including participation in Iraq's reconstruction process, boosting economic cooperation, paving the way for Egyptian companies seeking to invest in Iraq along with fostering trade exchange.

Egyptian-Iraqi Higher Committee meeting

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has given directives to harness all Egyptian expertise to support Iraq in various fields, visiting Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said.

Speaking at an Egyptian-Iraqi Higher Committee meeting in Baghdad, Madbouli stressed the importance of coordination between the two countries in light of the escalating tensions in the Middle East region to face mutual challenges.

Egypt will not change its policy towards Iraq, which is based on rejecting any foreign interference in the country's domestic affairs and condemning all illegal attacks that occur within its territories, Madbouli pointed out.

He also congratulated Iraqi forces on defeating terrorism and warned of a plot to create chaos in the Middle East region.

Madbouli said Egyptian companies are keen to do business in Iraq in a way that contributes to reconstructing it and developing its infrastructure.

Egypt is ready to provide Iraq with all needed expertise in the fields of electricity and energy, the premier said, expressing Egypt's desire to boost cooperation with Iraq in the area of developing micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Madbouli said the Egyptian government will provide all needed facilitation for Iraqi investors willing to invest in Egypt.

He also reviewed measures taken by the Egyptian government to overcome the novel coronavirus crisis, which he said had a negative impact on the global economy.

He further voiced Egypt's readiness to continue supporting Iraq in the medical sector.

The premier lauded an initial agreement to activate the oil-for-reconstruction mechanism, which is based on supplying Egypt with oil in exchange for Egyptian investments in Iraq.

For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi praised national projects Egypt established in the fields of electricity, roads, bridges and housing.

He extended thanks to President Sisi for sending 15 shipments of medical aid to Iraq, and providing medications for the Iraqi people for free.

Inking of 15 cooperation deals

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and his Iraqi counterpart Moustafa al Kadhami attended the inking ceremony of 15 agreements, memoranda of understanding and protocols to boost cooperation between their countries.

Putting their signatures to one such deal were Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek el Molla and his Iraqi counterpart Ehsan Abdel Jabbar.

Egypt’s International Cooperation Minister Rania el Mashat and Iraqi Justice Minister Salar Abdel Sattar signed a deal to exchange expertise between the two countries.

Mashat also signed a memorandum of understanding with Iraq’s Minister of Water Resources Mahdi Rashid al Hamdani.

She also put her signature to a MoU with CEO of Iraq’s stock exchange Taha Ahmed Abdel Salam to enhance cooperation with the Egyptian Exchange.

Mashat signed as well a bilateral program to boost technical cooperation in the field of environment protection with Iraq’s Health and Environment Minister Hassan Mohamed al Tamimi.

Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed and Iraq’s Tamimi signed a MoU in the fields of health and pharmaceuticals.

Putting their signature to a maritime transport agreement were transport ministers Kamel el Wazir of Egypt and Nasser Hussein Bandar of Iraq.

Wazir also signed a MoU with Iraq’s Construction and Housing Minister Nazneen Mohamed Wosso in the fields of roads and bridges. They also put their signatures to a MoU to boost cooperation in the field of housing and construction.

Nevine Gamae, the Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister, signed a MoU with Iraq’s Alaa Ahmed Hassan.

She also signed a cooperation protocol with Iraqi Minister of Industry Manhal Abdel Rahman to counter dumping policies. They signed a MoU to boost industrial cooperation between the two countries as well.

The Egyptian international cooperation minister, Mashat, also signed a MoU with Abdel Rahman in the field of consumer protection.

CEO of the Egyptian General Authority for Investment and Free Zones Mohamed Abdel Wahab and head of the Iraqi investment authority Soha al Najjar signed a MoU to enhance joint businesses.

A cooperation protocol was also signed between the Egyptian and Iraqi federations of industry.

Joint press conference

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said that Egypt and Iraq agreed on touting their water security as a joint national security issue.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Baghdad, the premier added that the two countries emphasized the importance of preserving their water rights as a matter affecting Arab national security.

He hailed strong, deeply-rooted and historical ties binding the Egyptian and Iraqi people who enjoy great civilizations established on the banks of rivers.

Madbouli said Saturday meetings and events of the joint higher committee mark an important step in boosting Cairo-Baghdad ties.

The two countries' ministers were instructed to set a specific time plan to activate and implement various cooperation protocols, and to transfer them into projects that serve the interests of the two peoples, he added.

“We also agreed on specific projects, that will be presented at the earliest opportunity to the leaders of Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan, to activate our tripartite partnership,” he further added.

Egypt is ready to support the brothers in Iraq with all its acquired great experiences that have caused it to succeed during the past six years in implementing major projects in the sectors of infrastructure, energy, electricity, oil, gas, housing and transportation, Madbouli pledged.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi hailed strong, deeply-rooted and historical ties binding the Egyptian and Iraqi people.

Those bonds push both sides to work for boosting cooperation to the level of strategic partnership, Kadhimi said.

Such a strategic partnership not only serves the interest of the two countries, but represents an essential pillar for ensuring regional security and stability, and restoring balance to the region, the Iraqi premier said.

Egypt-Iraq partnership is the cornerstone of their bilateral relationship, he added.

Kadhimi said his government attaches utmost importance to the joint Iraqi-Egyptian-Jordanian committee.

Iraq hopes this tripartite cooperation would be upgraded to a sustainable framework of economic integration and strategic cooperation, especially in light of major challenges facing the region due to the coronavirus pandemic, the decline in oil prices, and the resulting economic and social crises, he added.

The Iraqi premier also expressed his country's aspiration to boost communication and coordination between educational, cultural and religious institutions in the two countries, and to work together to achieve the common goal of spreading the values of tolerance and moderation and combating terrorism and extremism.

Egyptian-Iraqi business Forum

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stressed the imperative need to support Iraq to help it regain its standing as a stronghold of industry and agriculture in the Arab world, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said.

Madbouli made his remarks while addressing an Egyptian-Iraqi business forum titled: "Together towards reconstruction and trilateral cooperation," held here on the fringe of the meetings of the Egypt-Iraq Higher Committee.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, alongside a host of ministers and businessmen from both countries, were present at the event.

During his speech, Madbouli touched up the main points governing bilateral ties between both countries, topped by directives of the political leadership in Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, outlined in their latest trilateral summit in Amman, which includes energy projects, economic integration and making the best use of national resources while drawing lessons from the COVID-19 crisis.

Other promising platforms of boosting cooperation include transferring the Egyptian experience of embarking on urgent reform plans to upgrade the country's infrastructure, building smart cities and industrial parks, establishing logistics centres and boosting trade exchange between both countries.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi praised Egypt's efforts under President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's rule to consolidate cooperation at the regional level.

The Iraqi premier said that Egypt is an important partner of Iraq.

The Iraqi official started his speech by welcoming the high-level ministerial delegation visiting his country and led by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.

He highlighted the strong people-to-people ties binding both countries, pledging to move forward with his government's efforts to remove all bureaucratic barriers to mutual cooperation at various levels, especially in the industrial and trade sectors.

The Iraqi government pays great attention to the private sector, Kadhimi said, asserting the major role that must be assumed by this sector to help in the rebuilding and reform processes in Iraq to bring real development to its people.

He added that a raft of agreements had been signed to regulate bilateral work over the period ahead to bolster cooperation in various domains, including transportation, healthcare, the petroleum industry and reconstruction.

Moreover, the Iraqi premier noted that his government had been trying to draw lessons from the Egyptian economic reform experience over the past few years.

The Egyptian delegation included investors and representatives of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce.

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