New Delhi, Aug. 23: India and Iraq on Friday signed an agreement on energy cooperation to boost the bilateral ties.
The agreement was signed along with three other agreements after comprehensive talks between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Iraqi counterpart Nouri al-Maliki on strategic bilateral, regional and international issues.
“Expressing satisfaction at the rapidly growing bilateral trade in the oil and energy sector, with Iraq becoming India’s second largest supplier of crude oil, the two sides agreed to focus on enhancing cooperation in energy security, in particular, through joint efforts to develop capacities to maximize the utilization of energy resources, through joint ventures in oil exploration, petrochemical complexes and fertilizer plants,” said a joint statement issued after the talks.
“The two sides expressed happiness at the signing of an important MOU in the energy sector to further deepen the existing cooperation,” the joint statement adds.
Both sides noted with satisfaction that OVL and Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD) have initiated negotiations and expected that they conclude negotiations for Block-8 contract.
The two Prime Ministers held wide-ranging discussions in a sincere, cordial and friendly atmosphere. They exchanged views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest and reached a broad consensus.
The discussions enabled better understanding and appreciation of each other’s concerns and perspectives and helped in forging closer understanding at the highest political level.
“The two sides expressed satisfaction at the recent high-level political exchanges and agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations through regular exchanges at political, business and people-to-people levels. In this context, both leaders welcomed the constructive outcome of the 17th Joint Commission Meeting recently held on 7-8 July, 2013 in Baghdad, which has been an effective institutional mechanism to discuss the entire gamut of the bilateral ties,” the joint statement said.
“The two leaders reiterated the necessity to build a forward-looking relationship by deepening the bilateral engagement and better leveraging existing complementarities between the two countries in key areas of mutual interest, earlier identified in the JCM, including among others energy security; agriculture and food security; water resource management; education; infrastructure development; pharmaceuticals and medicare; information technology and low-cost housing. The two sides reached a common understanding to further diversify the trade basket,” the joint statement adds. (ANI)