Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mahdi Saleh left Baghdad Monday for Cairo where he is to discuss ways of increasing economic exchanges with Egypt, the official INA agency reported here.
During his trip, Saleh will lead an Iraqi delegation at meetings of the joint Iraqi-Egyptian economic commission which starts Wednesday in Cairo.
"The Iraqi delegation will hold talks with Egyptian authorities about what needs to be done to expand economic and trade links between the two brother nations," he told INA.
Diplomatic relations between Cairo and Baghdad were severed by Iraq during the Gulf War, but economic cooperation was revived more than three years ago.
Egypt frequently argues in favor of lifting international sanctions imposed on Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
An Egyptian official announced in May that contracts worth nearly $100 million had been agreed at an Egyptian commercial fair held in Baghdad.
Saleh said at the opening of that fair that Egypt was Iraq's number one trade partner, with exchanges of more than a billion dollars under the "oil for food" program since it began at the end of 1996.
The programme allows Iraq to sell crude to buy essential goods under international control. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
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