9th session of UAE-Iraq Joint Cooperation Committee concludes today in Abu Dhabi.

The 9th session of the UAE-Iraq Joint Cooperation Committee concluded today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, headed the session while the Iraqi side was led by Dr. Ibrahim Al Jaafari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq.

Dr. Gargash stated that the UAE and the Republic of Iraq are connected through their strong and close relations, which are characterised by mutual respect and their desire for further conducting joint work and promoting their bilateral co-operation to more advanced levels, to achieve the common interests of both Arab countries.

He also affirmed the UAE’s belief in the importance of the unity of Iraq and its wider role in the Arab world, as well as its historic aspirations of further consolidating its position as an inclusive country and strengthening its institutions, to realise the hopes of the various segments of the Iraqi people and to provide them with a safer and more stable environment.

He then emphasised the UAE’s firm position to support Iraq in its war against Daesh and to regain and restore all its territories from the terrorist organisation while praising the sacrifices of its people and the role of the Iraqi Armed Forces and the international coalition forces in the war against terrorism.

He also stressed that the UAE firmly supports the unity of Iraq while highlighting the need to strengthen it as a sovereign country with its own constitution through political dialogue, and respect its institutions and consolidate and deepen its wider role.

Both sides discussed regional developments and the means of enhancing security, stability and political co-operation among relevant international organisations.

Dr. Gargash noted the importance of improving the economic relations between the two countries and creating better mechanisms and procedures, with the aim of increasing their commercial exchange and developing their trade relations.

The total value of the non-oil trade exchange between the UAE and Iraq in 2015 and 2016 reached US$13 billion and $11 billion respectively, a decrease of around 18 percent, which encourages both countries to improve their economic relations and increase their level of trade while promoting mutual investments and further bilateral co-operation, he added.

He praised the outcome of the Iraqi economic delegation’s visit to the UAE between 23rd and 25th May, and the commencement of the UAE-Iraq Trade and Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi on 18th September, which contributed to the preparation for the commencement of the works of this committee by shedding light on the methods to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries, and consolidate the commercial and investment influx between them.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash underlined the importance of providing a logistical structure and a legal environment to encourage economic relations through trade, tourism and investment, and bilateral co-operation in the aviation sector. In addition to signing the agreement on the protection and promotion of investment, he explained that it would push the bilateral relations to new levels of excellence and prosperity.

He called on the Iraqi side to find practical solutions to the challenges faced by the Emirati companies in Iraq and remarked that this would contribute substantially in consolidating the Emirati investments in Iraq and develop the commercial relations between the two countries. He conveyed the UAE’s expectations of a strong Iraqi presence in the Expo 2020 Dubai, which could be a major platform for small and medium enterprises to make an effective entry into the market.

The Iraqi side praised the UAE’s honourable stance towards Iraq and welcomed the effective participation of the UAE in all sectors, especially in the investment and economic sectors.

Before concluding the works of the committee, both sides signed an agreement to avoid double taxation and a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the political deliberations between the two countries, and another memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of the UAE-Iraqi businessmen council, in addition to releasing the report of the meeting of the joint committee in its ninth session.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs