Iraq said it is seeking to forge closer ties with Finland and India, as delegations from the two countries are currently visiting the sanction-hit Arab country, said reports.
“Baghdad is eager to revive its good relations with Helsinki,” Iraqi Parliament Speaker Saadun Hammadi told the head of a visiting Finnish parliamentary delegation on Monday.
AFP quoted Hammadi as telling Sirkka-Liisa Anttila, deputy speaker of the Finnish Parliament, that his country wanted to reactivate good relations stalled by the embargo imposed on Iraq for invading Kuwait in 1990.
Hammadi informed Anttila of the negative effects of the ongoing UN embargo on Iraq's economy, AFP said.
A group of Finnish businessmen visited Baghdad in March 2000 to explore business opportunities with Iraq, a major oil producer whose economy has been crippled by the stringent 11-year-old UN sanctions regime.
Among that delegation were representatives from several Finnish companies, including energy firm Fortum, Waertsilae NSD (generators), Konecranes (cranes) and Instrumentarium (medical equipment).
Iraq was Finland's major Gulf trading partner before the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait.
Meanwhile, an Indian business delegation arrived in Baghdad in Sunday for talks with Iraqi officials who expressed their desire for stronger cooperation with the Asian country, reported the official Iraqi News Agency (INA).
It said that Iraqi Commerce Minister Mohammed Mahdi Saleh hoped the two countries expand their trade volume, praising India’s stand regarding lifting sanctions on Baghdad.
His remarks came during a meeting with an Indian delegation, headed by Economy Minister Koggi Sink, INA said.
The Indian official stressed his country’s support to the Iraqi issue, pledging more cooperation with Iraq in the fields of economy and trade, the agency added – Albawaba.com
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