Bulgaria said Monday that it was ready to export spare parts to help rebuild Iraq's oil industry, seriously damaged during the 1991 Gulf War.
"Bulgaria is ready to provide Iraq with the spare parts it needs to rebuild its oil installations and also buy (Iraqi) oil" under the 'oil-for-food' program, said Bulgarian Economy Minister Petar Zhotev.
Zhotev, who is currently in Iraq to open the joint Iraqi-Bulgarian commission in Baghdad, said the "sanctions imposed on Iraq (since 1990) have cut by more than 10 times the volume of trade between the two countries."
"Bulgaria has suffered enormous losses following the freezing of cooperation with Iraq," Zhotev said, quoted by the official INA news agency.
Iraq's Industry Minister Adnan Abdel Majid, for his part, said Baghdad was "working to increase trade with Sofia in various fields."
Abdel Majid invited "Bulgarian companies to guarantee the needs of Iraq in the oil-for-food program," INA said.
Iraq has been under sanctions linked to its disarmament ever since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The oil-for-food program introduced in December 1996 allows Baghdad to export crude to finance imports of food, medicine, other humanitarian goods and oil industry spare parts under the monitoring of the international community -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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