Iraq and Italy's prime ministers push for more cooperation between the two countries

Iraq and Italy's prime ministers push for more cooperation between the two countries

Shafaq News/ On Thursday, the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed S. Al-Sudani, held a joint press conference with the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni.

"Our bilateral relations are outstanding, and there is a positive Italian role and evident support for Iraq in international forums, especially in the war against ISIS and Italy's leadership of the NATO mission in Iraq." Al-Sudani's media office said in a statement.

The Iraqi Prime Minister highlighted the importance of resuming the joint bilateral committee and Iraq's willingness to develop economic cooperation, especially in agriculture, water management, and healthcare.

"Iraq has promising energy, oil, and gas plans, and Italian companies are operating in Iraq. We hope more specialized companies will come to Iraq, especially in infrastructure and gas investment." The statement quoted Al-Sudani saying.

He emphasized the importance of benefiting from Italy's experiences in religious and archaeological tourism.

In her remarks, the Italian Prime Minister expressed Rome's keenness to establish the "best partnership relations with Iraq, and we extend our congratulations for forming the Iraqi government, which was formed simultaneously with the new Italian government."

"Iraq is an important country that has achieved essential steps in the field of security and stability, and we believe that it should look with good optimism toward reconstruction," Meloni said.

"We have always stood by Iraq in its ordeal, whether on the security level or through our Italian companies in development programs in Iraq, which benefits the Iraqi people…Without a strong Iraq, we cannot see prosperity in the Middle East." The top Italian official said.

: We are proud of the successes achieved by Operation Inherent Resolve during the past years in the fight against Daesh. The Iraqi people have gained a lot with their sacrifices, and we are ready to be constantly among the contributors to this process."

Meloni considered the relations with Iraq "strong, substantial, and have deep roots. We cooperate in energy, which today constitutes an essential strategy for Italy, and we cooperate in industry and culture."

"Our two countries carry an identity forged by a long history of culture. We understand the value of this relationship. That is why we hope that 2023 will represent a year of transformation in our bilateral relations, which is what my presence here in Iraq indicates."

The Prime Minister thanked Al-Sudani for his initiative to make December 25 an official holiday for all Iraqis, which is "an excellent gesture of respect for Christian communities and an important step that we value."

Earlier today, Prime Minister Muhamad S. Al-Sudani received Giorgia Meloni in an official ceremony on her first visit to Iraq.

Meloni held talks with the Iraqi President, Abdul Latif Rashid, and Parliament Speaker, Muhammad al-Halbousi.

Later today, she will head to the capital of the Kurdistan Region, Erbil, to meet Kurdish officials.

She will also visit Italian troops stationed in Iraq.

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