Iraq and Belarus on Tuesday, April 1, signed an accord on economic cooperation and a protocol to set up air links between the two countries, Iraqi officials announced.
Iraq's Finance Minister Hekmat Ibrahim Al-Azzawi inked the agreements with Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Zametalin, who flew in Thursday for a meeting of their countries' joint commission.
The aviation accord aims to start up regular flights between Minsk and Baghdad, said Iraq's official news agency INA .
Dozens of Arab and European planes have landed in Baghdad since the reopening of Saddam International Airport in August 2000, despite UN sanctions slapped on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Zametalin, quoted by INA , said Belarus was eager "to strengthen cooperation with Iraq in all fields despite the efforts of certain countries to block this cooperation."
The deputy premier, who led an 80-strong delegation of officials and businessmen, met President Saddam Hussein on Saturday and delivered a message from his Belarus counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)