Iraqi foreign minister in UAE to seek help on rebuilding war-torn country
Ibrahim Al Jaafari's visit aims to enhance Iraqi ties with the Emirates by establishing security co-ordination and developing an investment fund to reconstruct cities recently liberated from ISIL, including Mosul and Tel Afar
Iraq's foreign minister arrived on Monday in Abu Dhabi to seek increased ties with the UAE, as Baghdad looks to rebuild the country following years of violence.
Ibrahim Al Jaafari met with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at Al Bahr palace in the capital.
His visit aims to enhance Iraqi ties with the UAE by establishing security co-ordination and developing an investment fund to reconstruct cities recently liberated from ISIL, including Mosul and Tel Afar.
Mr Al Jaafari was expected to chair a joint UAE-Iraqi committee looking to urge Emirati officials to support the reconstruction of cities battered by Iraq’s battle against ISIL.
UAE's ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Ahmed Al Shehhi, on Monday renewed his country's support for Baghdad.
"The meeting of the joint UAE-Iraqi committee will lead to projects that serve the interest of both states and will enhance joint co-operation in various fields," Mr Al Shehhi said.
Mr Al Jaafari's visit to the Emirates comes after the UAE's Ministry of Economy last month announced a new bilateral business council to boost investment and trade. It is not clear if this is the same body that Mr Al Jaafari was expected to chair during his visit.
"The two parties agreed to form a joint working team or technical committee to enhance investment co-operation and to identify related priorities in vital sectors of the Republic of Iraq as it undergoes reconstruction," the Ministry of Economy said at the time.
In May, Mr Al Jaafari discussed with Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, ways of developing Iraqi-Emirati relations and the common risks that both countries face.
Mr Al Jaafari's visit to Abu Dhabi is the latest in a series of visits by high-level Iraqi officials to Arab Gulf countries, and follows a surprise trip by Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr to the capital in early August.
That trip had followed a visit by Mr Al Sadr to Saudi Arabia, as well as a number of other meetings between Iraqi and Saudi officials.
Riyadh and Baghdad only restored diplomatic relations in 2015 after 25 years, and their recently improved relations have surprised many observers given the scale of Iranian influence in Iraq.
Updated: October 3, 2017 09:27 AM