Prime Minister Heshsam Qandil visited Iraq, Monday morning, along with six ministers and around 60 businessmen, to meet with Iraqi officials.
The Egyptian and Iraqi delegations held talks in the governmental palace in Baghdad, where they discussed various political issues, including Egyptian-Iraqi relations and regional developments, namely pan-Arab relations and the situation in Syria.
After the talks, Qandil and Al-Maliki held a joint press conference where they confirmed their determination to foster bilateral agreements and to hold “high joint committee meetings as soon as possible” in order to translate these agreements into actual projects, according to Middle East News Agency, MENA.
Both parties expressed similar views regarding the political issues concerning the two countries and the Arab world, as well as their common will to push forward bilateral cooperation in all fields, especially those related to trade and investment.
“We are keen to establish sustainable economic relations,” said Qandil, confirming that the leaders of the two countries were determined to achieve political coordination and economic cooperation.
Qandil added that after the 25 January Revolution, Egypt is determined to return to its “Arab perimeter” both politically and economically, and that Iraq, with its regional weight, is at the heart of this policy.
He also noted that this visit, to his “second home” Iraq came at a time when the government is looking to settle a number of agreements in different fields that will have a positive impact on both countries, their people and the Arab world in general.
Qandil confirmed that both sides had agreed to coordinate in the fields of petroleum, trade, reconstruction, drinking water, ports, establishments and “buildings of all kinds”.
He quoted the Iraqi Prime Minister who said during the talks that “the Iraqi market is open to Egyptian companies”, and now the private sector must take full advantage of the cooperation between the two countries.
He clarified that the process of obtaining visas will be facilitated for Iraqi businessmen and tourists to visit Egypt.
Qandil also explained that Egypt considers Iraq a unified country and a united people, expressing Egypt’s readiness to help the Iraqi people in all possible fields to fulfil “the will of the people” in both countries.
Over the course of his two-day visit, the Egyptian prime minister was also received by the Iraqi Vice President Khodair Al-Khozaei.
Iraqi-Egyptian relations within the political, economic and social arenas were at the heart of their talks, he said. They also discussed promoting trade between the two countries and the necessity of joint coordination in all “fields of interest”.
On his official Facebook page, Hesham Qandil wrote: “In the context of active Egyptian foreign policy after the revolution, and in order to foster constructive cooperation with our brothers in the Arab world, I am paying a historical visit to Iraq, the first of a kind for decades, accompanied by a high level delegation comprising the ministers of manufacturing, foreign trade, electricity, international cooperation, petroleum and metallurgical wealth, in addition to a large number of Egyptian businessmen and investors”.