CAIRO: Egypt and Iraq have reached a preliminary consensus to establish an oil-for-reconstruction mechanism.
The two countries have signed 15 agreements, programs, and protocols in the fields of transport, water resources, health, the environment, justice, investment, housing, construction, industry, trade, and finance.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told a meeting in Baghdad that companies would carry out development projects in return for oil.
He said the agreement would boost bilateral cooperation and enhance the pace of development in Iraq, and that the two nations had great production and export potential.
The meeting of the Egyptian-Iraqi Higher Committee also heard that there was a need to increase the volume and value of intra-trade and to remove all obstacles in the flow of goods between the two countries.
The prime minister said that the role of Arab Bridge Maritime, a commercial company founded by Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan in 1985, could be revitalized to bolster trade ties between the founding countries.
Madbouly said Cairo was seeking to increase cooperation in the fields of oil and gas, chemicals, and minerals, and that Egyptian contracting companies were eager to explore the Iraqi market and contribute to reconstruction efforts.
There would be job opportunities for Iraqis and they would gain expertise in different sectors, he said, adding that Egypt was prepared to increase cooperation in the electrical interconnection project with Iraq, in coordination with Jordan.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi told a news conference that his country looked forward to working with Egypt and strengthening cooperation. He also highlighted the importance of the joint Iraqi-Egyptian-Jordanian committee.
“A specific timeframe will be developed to activate the memoranda signed between Iraq and Egypt,” Madbouly said. “Baghdad and Cairo agree on the speedy activation of a group of projects implemented by the Egyptian side.”
He said the two sides also agreed on the issue of water security.