BAGHDAD, June 15 (AP) — Qatar and Iraq signed a series of economic and energy deals Thursday during Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s visit to Baghdad.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad al-Sudani said in a statement that the two countries had signed a broad agreement to expand “political, economic, energy and investment cooperation”.
They also signed specific agreements on transportation, development projects and energy, including “the establishment of a joint oil company, the construction of a refinery” and an agreement on the construction of a hotel, he said.
Qatar’s state-owned Qatar News Agency reported that the emir announced his country’s intention to “invest $5 billion in various sectors in Iraq over the next few years.”
In recent years, Iraq has sought to heighten tensions with its wealthy Gulf Arab neighbors and attract foreign investment — efforts that have paid off.
Last month, Baghdad hosted a one-day conference that brought together transport ministers and representatives from Iraq, the Gulf Arab states, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Jordan, culminating in the announcement of plans for a $17 billion regional transport project, Designed to facilitate the flow of goods from Asia to Europe.
In April, QatarEnergy, the Gulf state’s state oil company, announced it had agreed to buy a 25% stake in a large Iraqi gas project.
Iraq urgently needs to develop local natural gas resources to meet electricity demand, especially during the peak summer electricity consumption period. The country relies heavily on Iranian gas and electricity imports.
Al-Sudani also said Thursday that Iraq, after decades of turmoil and violence, now “enjoys security and political stability, which makes it a promising environment for the project”.
He said: “Iraq has resumed its normal status and role in the region, and is willing to work with brothers and friends to achieve peace, prosperity and development.” (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)