published: 11.10.2012, 14:09 | updated: 11.10.2012 17:58:26
Prague - Iraq´s airspace cannot be used for supplying weapons to Syria, tormented by civil war, where the situation can only be solved by a dialogue between the parties to the conflict, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said after meeting his Czech counterpart Petr Necas in Prague today.
Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) praised Baghdad for keeping the security situation in Iraq stable and under control after the withdrawal of U.S. units.
Maliki said Iraq will never allow for anyone to use its territory to supply weapons to Syria.
He said the Iraqi army guards the country´s borders. No foreign plane can leave the Iraqi airspace with the aim to supply weapons to Syria, he added.
This is absolutely forbidden. Iraq has already checked some suspicious planes and banned one country´s [aircraft] flight across Iraq, Maliki said, without specifying the country concerned.
The USA and some other states suspect Iran of supporting the Damascus regime by supplying weapons to it, using both air and ground routes via Iraq.
Maliki said stability in the region cannot be ensured by weapons or force.
He called on all countries interfering in Syria´s affairs to interfere positively and seek a solution. This is a dangerous situation, Maliki added.
Baghdad says 365 people died and 683 were wounded in violent attacks in Iraq this September, which is the highest monthly toll in the past two years. The Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda staged simultaneous attacks at several towns.
Maliki said in Prague that the extremist and terrorist actions at various places in Iraq have no influence on either the environment and life in the country or its development.
Iraq has done its utmost to put an end to violence in the country. No new groups have been coming from outside, Maliki said.
Shortly before his Prague visit, Maliki held negotiations in Moscow.
Baghdad tried to activate its traditional relations with Russia, Maliki commented on his Russian trip today.
He pointed to Russian companies´ presence in Iraq, including their participation in oil industry,
It was necessary to secure defence weapons for Iraq, Maliki said to explain the armament deals worth 4.2 billion dollars that he concluded in Moscow.
Russia has become the second biggest arms supplier to Iraq, after the USA.
CR signs new agreement on economic cooperation with Iraq
Czech Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kuba and his Iraq counterpart Khairullah Hasan Babakr signed an agreement on economic cooperation and support of trade between the Czech Republic and Iraq today, the Czech Industry and Trade Ministry has said in a press release.
The document is the first agreement between the Czech Republic and Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.
"The agreement aims at long-term support of information exchange and cooperation on raising awareness about trade and investment opportunities on markets in both the countries. It will enable us to meet on all levels and seek projects interesting for both the sides," Kuba said.
The ministers also agreed on an establishment of a mixed committee for economic cooperation enabling support of companies' specific projects.
Babakr said he can see an enormous potential for cooperation of Iraqi companies with Czech firms, inviting them to participate above all in projects in oil extraction and processing, industry, agriculture, construction, transport, health care, telecommunications and education.
Iraqi Trade Minister is on a two-day visit to the Czech Republic together with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and two other Iraqi ministers. Among the members of the Iraqi delegation are also representatives of local entrepreneurs.
Among the segments of Iraqi economy in which Czech companies could operate is the energy industry, oil industry, and railway and road transport, Maliki said after meeting Milan Stech, chairman of the Senate, the upper house of the Czech parliament.
The Czech Republic's new export strategy for years 2012 to 2020 puts Iraq among the 12 priority countries with the highest potential for the development of mutual trade and investment.
Iraq is interested mainly in import of oil technologies, road vehicles, machinery and engineering equipment, turbines and heat exchangers, industrial machinery, scientific and control machinery, electrical devices, agricultural machinery and chemicals, Czech Confederation of Industry spokesman Milan Mostyn told CTK.
There is also demand in Iraq for Czech food products and health care technologies and material, Mostyn said.
From activities of Czech companies in Iraq, Mostyn mentioned the agreement on cooperation between Czech company PSG-International, Kurdish company KAR Group and Turkey's Renaissance Construction on the construction of a gas steam combined-cycle power plant with a 980 MW output. The value of the project is around $1bn.
Among the Czech companies active on the Iraqi market are also Zetor and Technoexport, for example.
The value of Czech exports to Iraq reached $87m in 2011. The biggest share of the exports was made up of passenger cars, construction components, turbo generators, electrical converters, turbines and distribution boards.
Imports from Iraq to the Czech Republic amounted to only $164,000.
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