Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat met Monday with Iraq’s ambassador to Cairo and permanent representative to the Arab League Ahmed Nayef Al-Dulaimi to discuss arrangements for convening the Joint Supreme Committee between the two countries that is expected to be chaired by their respective prime ministers soon.
The committee's upcoming meeting will aim to deepen bilateral ties between Egypt and Iraq in numerous areas, enhancing economic diplomacy among Arab countries as well as following up on recommendations that emerged from the trilateral summit held between the leaders of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan in August, according to a statement.
Minister Al-Mashat stated that intensive contacts were initiated in recent weeks with all concerned Egyptian ministries to highlight areas for joint cooperation for the sake of tapping the economic resources the two countries enjoy.
She added that the joint committee has taken decisions regarding the activation of bilateral and multilateral agreements that contribute to achieving the development plans of the two countries and deepening investment, especially in industry, agriculture, energy, tourism and construction.
"Egypt is looking forward to growing relations with Iraq in all economic cooperation aspects. The Supreme Committee will put rules that target organising bilateral ties in health, education, scientific research, social affairs, as well as exchanging experiences in water resources, environment, communication and information technology with a focus on the role the Egyptian private sector is expected to play regarding Iraq's reconstruction," said Al-Mashat.
For his part, Ambassador Al-Dulaimi said that Iraq is eager to reinforce its relations with Egypt through the convening of the Joint Supreme Committee.
Al-Mashat and Al-Dulaimi discussed during their meeting the mechanisms that would facilitate the work of Egyptian investment companies in Iraq and the return of Egyptian labour to the Iraqi market, in addition to the role that the Council of Arab Economic Unity plays and its anticipated regular session that is scheduled to be held in December.
During August and September, Al-Dulaimi held a series of meetings with Egypt’s ministers of housing, industry, and international cooperation in order to discuss the participation of Egyptian companies in ongoing reconstruction efforts in Iraq.
The head of the Federation of Arab Contractors estimated that Iraq needs between $150 and $200 billion for reconstruction.