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Iraqi Trade Minister Talks to Asharq Al-Awsat - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Bagdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- Trade Minister Dr Abdul Hassan Falah al-Sudani, has stressed that the most important achievement at the economic level of the Riyadh summit, which was held in Saudi Arabia last month, was to convene meetings for the cancellation of Iraqi debts to a number of Arab countries. Al-Sudani said to Asharq Al-Awsat: “Saudi Arabia was one of the countries with which there were dialogues about the cancellation of debts.” He stressed that Riyadh showed positive response to this issue, and the readiness to convene bilateral negotiations through which solutions based on the interest of Iraq and its people could be reached. Al-Sudani pointed out that the Saudi officials had pledged to invest in industry and trade in the secure zones, and in the regions along the borders between the two countries, such as Al-Samawah, Al-Anbar, and others. They had also pledged to increase the volume of trade exchanges, and to participate in developing the economy and restoring the economic structures of its sectors. With regard to the debts to Kuwait, Al-Sudani pointed out: “There are several sides conducting continuous negotiations with the Kuwaiti side, and a high level delegation is preparing to visit Kuwait soon for this purpose.” As for the most important achievements of the Iraqi delegation that participated in the Riyadh conference, Al-Sudani explained: “The Riyadh conference resulted in achieving many points in the interest of Iraq. We agreed with many Arab countries to increase cooperation in all economic, trade, and political fields. Also important resolutions were issued with regard to the Arab free-trade zone, and the measures to facilitate the customs and excise agreements that would achieve the third stage of the Arab economic unity. The conference also discussed the issue of Arab cooperation to support the health and education services, and it was agreed to convene a meeting of the Arab education ministers to study the reality of Arab education and the problems of education in the Arab region. Moreover, the issues of communications and electricity were discussed, and there is a proposal submitted by Kuwait and Egypt to convene an Arab economic summit.” Among the other economic topics that were subject to discussion was the issue of Arab trade and economic cooperation – especially by the Gulf Cooperation Council through the use of borders, roads, and ports – and urging all the Arab countries to invest in Iraq. The minister revealed that he conducted many negotiations with the Gulf countries that focused on revising the bilateral relations, especially those related to the fields of air travel and judicial issues. With regard to the aid granted by the ministry to the afflicted Iraqi families, especially the displaced, the minister pointed out, “Recently the ministry introduced a program to face up to emergency circumstances. The ministry has secured the provision of dry foodstuffs sufficient for a lengthy period, and is updating these foodstuffs continuously. Moreover, the ministry continues to secure all the quotas of the tense governorates through coordinating with the tribes and security authorities. At the same time, our departments secure comprehensive food quotas for the displaced families in all the regions in which they have arrived.” The minister said that his ministry decided to distribute “food aid to thousands of the poor families and to those displaced by force from their areas of residence. This is in addition to providing the necessities, and treating the problems caused by the current circumstances and the displacement by force inflicted by armed terrorist groups that aim to destroy security and stability, and to terrorize people in their areas of residence.” The minister pointed out, “The plan to impose the law has resolved some of the problems faced by some agents in the tense regions in conveying the articles of the ration cards to the sons of our people in general. This is particularly true as the ministry has provided the means for good storage for periods that could extend to four or five months in order to cover the shortage in these articles that resulted from armed terrorist operations.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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