Sisi, Iraq PM discuss boosting trade, investment ahead of joint higher committee

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 13 Jun 2023

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani discussed enhancing bilateral cooperation with a focus on trade exchange, investment, security and infrastructure, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said in a statement on Tuesday.

Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during his meeting with Iraq s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani in Cairo on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Presidency


During the meeting on Tuesday, El-Sisi highlighted Egypt's eagerness to enhance and intensify bilateral cooperation with Iraq in the political, economic, commercial and cultural fields at the bilateral level as well as trilateral cooperation with Jordan, Fahmy said in the statement.

The president also emphasized Egypt's unwavering support for the security and stability of Iraq.

For his part, Al-Sudani expressed Iraq's keenness to leverage bilateral cooperation with Egypt. The two leaders agreed on the importance of translating this cooperation into a tangible reality that strengthens their partnership.

The Iraqi premier praised Egypt as a role model for preserving stability and advancing economic and social development, while El-Sisi praised Iraq's efforts to support regional stability and security.

Al-Sudani called for enhancing Egyptian-Iraqi work to face various challenges and crises, achieve integration in multiple fields and contribute to achieving sustainable development for the two countries.

During his visit, the Iraqi premier is heading a delegation that includes the Iraqi ministers of foreign affairs, housing, trade and electricity as well as other officials, including the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq and the chairman of the National Investment Commission.

This is Al-Sudani’s second visit to Egypt since he assumed the post in October 2022. He previously visited Cairo in March, where he agreed with El-Sisi to expedite the implementation of joint Egyptian-Iraqi projects.

This visit comes on the heels of an increasing number of high-level Iraqi visits to Cairo.

2nd Egyptian-Iraqi Joint Higher Committee


The second round of the Egyptian-Iraqi Joint Higher Committee meeting kicked off following El-Sisi's meeting with the Iraqi PM.

Co-Chaired by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and PM Al-Sudani, the second round was attended by a number of Egyptian and Iraqi officials and businessmen.

Madbouly and Al-Sudani witnessed the signing of 11 MoUs on cooperation in various fields, including economy, foreign affairs, administrative development, tourism, trade, sports, social solidarity and planning.

Ahead of the meeting, Iraq's Minister of Trade Athir Al-Ghurairy affirmed that the two sides look forward to boosting the volume of Egyptian-Iraqi trade in remarks to the Iraqi News Agency (INA).

Trade exchange between the two countries is still far below its potential, according to Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat during the preparatory ministerial meetings.

Al-Mashat pointed to the energy sector and Egyptian companies’ participation in infrastructure projects as two areas that are ripe for development.

The first round of the committee, held in Baghdad in October 2020, saw the signing of 15 cooperation agreements in various fields, including planning, investment, bourse, maritime transportation and roads and bridges.

The agreements also covered water resources and irrigation, housing, environment, justice, health, anti-dumping, consumer protection, industrial cooperation and international fairs.

Trilateral cooperation


Egypt and Iraq have embarked on a number of joint development projects with Jordan as part of a trilateral mechanism of cooperation.

The three countries have held several summits since 2019, the last of which was at the Dead Sea in Jordan last December, to discuss implementing strategic projects.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq have also held a series of periodic meetings to strengthen trilateral cooperation.

During his visit to Cairo in March, Al-Sudani agreed with the Egyptian premier to assign the relevant ministers in both governments to work on implementing the signed agreements during the committee’s second round meeting.

Jordan has expressed plans to supply Iraq with electricity in 2023 after the required infrastructure is completed. Egypt, which is nearly 1,300 km from Iraq, also plans to deliver electricity to Iraq via Jordan by linking their power grids.

In addition, the three countries said they are also working on setting up an industrial city on the Iraqi-Jordanian border.

Also, Jordan and Iraq have been preparing to build an oil pipeline linking the two countries. In June 2022, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Egypt will also benefit from the project.

Egypt has a 550 MW power link with Jordan and work is underway to boost its capacity to 2-3 GW in order for it to reach Iraq, Madbouly told Al-Sudani last March.

Al-Sudani has previously revealed that there are talks underway to establish a logistical zone on the Iraqi-Jordanian border to facilitate the flow of goods and commodities, saying that Egypt can benefit from this zone by providing Egyptian goods to the Iraqi markets.

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