Iraq PM begins China visit

2015-12-23 0:58:01

Beijing supports Baghdad’s national security efforts
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday began his visit to China as the two sides agreed to establish strategic partnership and enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of oil, infrastructure and military.

On the first day of his two-day visit, the visiting prime minister met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, when the two sides agreed to upgrade their bilateral ties to lay a solid foundation for future ties, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xi voiced support for Iraq's efforts to maintain national sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and said that China firmly supports Iraq's measures to safeguard national security and stability, and will help Iraq achieve this.

China was ready to strengthen the integration of two countries' development strategies within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative, and assist Iraq's reconstruction in energy, electricity, communication and infrastructure.

The situation in West Asia and North Africa affects the world and requires a political solution, Xi noted.

"Stability and security in the Middle East will affect the implementation of China's Belt and Road Initiative," Yin Gang, a Middle East expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

In an interview with Xinhua on Saturday, Abadi said his country is working on deepening relations with China and also voiced hope for future military cooperation.

On the US-led coalition's fight against the Islamic State group, Abadi said "the international coalition (assistance) was not as we had expected, because we expected fast and direct support, but it was slow," Xinhua reported.

Abadi reiterated his demand for greater assistance from the international community to Iraq "because a terrorist group like Daesh, which stretches into more than one country, would need global support for Iraq to get rid of it."

"We, Iraqis, are fighting on the ground, but we need international assistance to stand with Iraq in fighting terrorism," Abadi said.

"Our two people would like to build mutual relations in the economic, commercial, financial and military fields, and even in social aspects."

If the war doesn't end in Syria and Iraq, Chinese businesses in those areas as well as those of other countries will be affected, said Yin.

He added that China needs to exert efforts to promote peace and development in those countries in view of its national interests and international situation.

Posted in: Diplomacy