Egyptian International Cooperation Minister Rania Al-Mashat and Iraqi Trade Minister Alaa Al-Jabouri chaired a preparatory round of talks in Baghdad on Friday ahead of the Egyptian-Iraqi high committee meeting the day after that will be chaired by the two countries’ prime ministers.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat stressed Egypt and Iraq's keenness to surmount all obstacles facing cooperative relations in order to achieve strategic integration at the economic, trade, and investment levels.
Al-Mashat said the outcomes and proposals generated during the talks of the preparatory committee will be presented to the heads of the joint committee, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and his Iraqi counterpart Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
The proposals, Al-Mashat said, include establishing a logistical zone for storing Egyptian goods on the Iraqi-Jordanian border and establishing a commercial centre for Egyptian products in Baghdad.
The joint ministerial meeting also proposed enhancing the free movement of Egyptian goods into the Iraqi market and the entry of Egyptian trucks into Iraqi territory, in addition to a number of cooperative agreements in the fields of petroleum, electricity, energy, housing, construction, and transport, the statement read.
Al-Mashat also said that Egyptian companies were ready to participate in the infrastructure projects aimed at rebuilding the Iraqi provinces affected by terrorist acts.
The minister said she sees "distinct opportunities" for Egyptian exports of construction materials to enter the Iraqi market and set in motion trade movement via the land route between Egypt and Iraq, the statement added.
The two prime ministers will sign documents and agreements on Saturday that were prepared during the meetings of the preparatory ministerial committee, the statement said.
Saturday's meeting will be the first following an agreement to revive the joint high committee that came during a trilateral summit attended by the leaders of Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan in August to enhance cooperation ties.
The Egyptian-Iraqi high committee was formed by an agreement signed by both countries in July 1988, with the aim of coordinating cooperation frameworks.
The committee has met twice since then, in 1988 and 1989.