ArmInfo.There is a special dynamic in Armenian-Iraqi relations today. The bilateral agenda is quite extensive and includes many areas of cooperation - from trade and economic relations to the educational, cultural, humanitarian, and information technology sectors. RA President Vahagn Khachaturyan stated at a joint briefing with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid.
According to him, the visit of the Iraqi leader is historical, because since the establishment of diplomatic relations, he became the first Iraqi president to pay an official visit to Armenia. "I am confident that your visit will open a new page in Armenian-Iraqi relations, and will also give a powerful boost to the deepening and expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation," Khachaturyan noted.
He added that both the rich past of Armenian-Arab historical and cultural ties and the presence of an Armenian community in Iraq, which has a long history, are a solid basis for the dynamic development of relations between the two countries. "The Armenian people are grateful to the friendly people of Iraq for accepting and providing shelter to Armenian emigrants who survived the Armenian Genocide. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the friendly Iraqi authorities for taking care of the Iraqi Armenians and providing all conditions for life and normal activities," the RA President emphasized, adding that Iraq is an important and reliable partner of Armenia in the Middle East region. Yerevan is very interested in developing a bilateral agenda with Baghdad, especially in the trade and economic sectors.
Khachaturyan noted that in recent years there has been a noticeable increase in trade turnover between the countries. "The next meeting of the Armenian- Iraqi Intergovernmental Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation took place on September 12-13. Both sides emphasized the speedy implementation of the agreements reached following the meeting. At the meeting, the most promising directions in the fields of agriculture, renewable energy production, infrastructure development and restoration, food and light industry, education, science and culture were discussed. The significant potential of bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of high technology and digitalization were especially emphasized. In this regard, I mentioned that Armenia is ready to transfer its successful experience accumulated during years of work in this field to the Iraqi side. We confirmed the readiness of both sides to deepen interstate relations," the RA President said.
He also noted that in addition to the bilateral agenda, regional and international issues of mutual interest were discussed during the visit. "We emphasized the need to coordinate the efforts of the two countries in the context of a dialogue on regional security, processes taking place in the international arena, and the resulting challenges. I presented to my counterpart the "Crossroads of the Peace" concept put forward by Armenia, the goal of which is to turn Armenia into a transit hub for existing and future communication channels stretching from north to south and from west to east, which involves restoring normal communications with all our neighbors. The implementation of the initiative will ensure transit between the Middle East and Asia, on the one hand, and the European and Eurasian markets, on the other. Armenia is interested in unblocking regional economic and transport connections, respecting state sovereignty, jurisdiction and the principles of equality and reciprocity and is ready to do it as soon as possible, which, in turn, will ensure security and stability in the region," Khachaturyan said.
He said that during the meeting the importance of strengthening cooperation in the fight against all manifestations of international terrorism, as well as the implementation of joint efforts to combat illegal migration, was emphasized. "Following the meeting, my partner and I adopted a joint statement reflecting almost all the key aspects of bilateral relations," the RA President concluded.