Iran offers technological aid to Iraqi Kurdistan region

Photo: Iran offers technological aid to Iraqi Kurdistan region / Iran

Iranian Vice-President for International Affairs Ali Saeedlou in a meeting with the prime minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region here in Tehran on Sunday said Iran is ready to share its technological know-how and expertise with the KRG in energy, oil and dam-construction fields, Fars reported.

"Iran, relying on its own experts, has managed to gain remarkable achievements in oil and energy fields and is ready to present all these technologies to its good friends in the Iraqi Kurdistan region," Saeedlou said at the meeting with KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.

He further highlighted Iran's progress, capacities and capabilities in the downstream sector, saying Tehran is ready to provide Iraq's oil and energy sector with its achievements.

Saeedlou also referred to Iranian experts' potentials and capabilities in dam-building for power generation, and said, "Today, Iranian engineers are capable of providing remarkable assistance to their friends and brothers in Iraq in areas of dam-construction and power generation."

Barzani, for his part, hailed the "positive" relations between Iran and the KRG, and said, "The relations between the Iraqi Kurdistan region and Iran are not limited only to a series of economic projects, rather Iran and Iraq's Kurdistan have had much important historical and cultural ties since long time ago."

Barzani arrived in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking trade delegation on Saturday evening.

On Wednesday, Representative of Iraq's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to Tehran Nazzem Dabbagh said Barzani would explore avenues for the development of bilateral trade relations during the visit to Tehran.

"Nechirvan Barzani will discuss new ways of bolstering mutual trade exchanges and pursue economic cooperation between the two sides, including accomplishment of border terminals," Dabbagh told FNA.

Dabbagh further voiced pleasure in Kurdistan officials' visit to Iran, saying their trips have always been fruitful since trade obstacles are detected in these visits and the two sides find solutions to their problems.

Saeedlou is due to visit the Iraqi capital city, Baghdad, on Monday and will then travel to the Northern city of Erbil in Iraq's Kurdistan region to attend a joint economic conference.

"Saeedlou will visit Baghdad tomorrow (Monday) to meet and hold talks with Iraqi officials," Iranian Ambassador to Iraq Hassan Danayeefar told FNA on Sunday.

"He will travel to Erbil on Tuesday to attend talks with Iraqi Kurdistan officials and will then go to the holy city of Najaf," he added.

Saeedlou, who will head a high-ranking economic delegation in his visit to the Iraqi Kurdistan region (KRG), is slated to meet Kurdistan officials to discuss ways of developing the two sides' economic and trade cooperation.

A large number of Iranian and Kurdistan companies are due to attend a joint economic conference which is due to be held on November 13.

Iran and the Iraqi Kurdistan region have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.

A senior Iraqi Kurdish official announced in July that the value of the trade ties between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan region will exceed $4bln this year thanks to the two sides' growing cooperation.

"This year, the maximum value of our trade activities will exceed $4bln and such a boost is certainly the result of further cooperation," Representative of the Iraqi Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Nazzem Dabbaq told FNA at the time, adding that the value of bilateral trade ties with Iran was $100 million in 2000.

He voiced Kurdistan's willingness to boost trade ties with Iran, and noted, "The present and the future of Iran and Kurdistan are tied to each other. They should always have continued contacts with each other."

Also in July, Deputy Head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Barham Salih was in Iran to explore avenues for the further development of the bilateral relations between the two sides.

During the five-day trip, Salih discussed consolidation of PUK relations with Iran as well as the role, importance and expansion of Iraq's ties with the Islamic Republic.

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