Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki to arrive in India today

New Delhi, Aug 22 (ANI): Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will pay a four-day state visit to India beginning today at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh.

He would be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers, senior officials and Captains of Industry during the visit.

This is the first Head of Government-level visit between the two countries since 1975 when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Iraq.

During the visit, Prime Minister Maliki will call on President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.

He will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who will also host an official banquet in honour of the visiting Iraqi leader on August 23.

His other engagements would include meetings with the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

Prime Minister Maliki will attend a business luncheon meeting jointly organised by the three business chambers, FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.

In addition to New Delhi, Prime Minister Maliki and his delegation would also be visiting Agra and Mumbai.

India and Iraq enjoy time-tested, warm and friendly ties, growing cooperation in different fields, including hydrocarbons, agriculture and food security, water resource management, education, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals and medicare, and information technology.

Iraq has emerged as India's second largest crude oil supplier with bilateral trade in excess of USD 21 billion in 2012-13.

Both countries are committed to enhance their cooperation in energy sector from the buyer-seller to a more broad-based one through mutually beneficial participation in oil exploration, refineries, petrochemical complexes and fertilizer plants. (ANI)


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