Iraqi, Italian PMs discuss ties, cooperation

Baghdad, Dec 24 (IANS): Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani has met with his visiting Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni, during which they discussed bilateral ties and cooperation in the fields of agriculture, water, health and trade.

Meloni has said that her official visit to Iraq marks the beginning of distinguished relations between the Iraqi and Italian peoples, and "a strong Iraq is a condition for prosperity and stability in the Middle East", Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement released by the Iraqi Prime Minister's media office.

In a joint press conference after the meeting, al-Sudani said that Italy plays "a positive role" and shows "clear support for Iraq in international forums, especially in the war against the Islamic State (IS) group through Italy's leadership of the NATO mission in Iraq".

Meloni told reporters that Iraq is an important country that has achieved important steps in stabilising its security, stressing that "Italy has always been in the first line of support for Iraq, and we are doing this work within the framework of the coalition against IS militants".

The visiting Italian Prime Minister also met with Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid and the Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, before heading to meet Kurdish leaders in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.



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