The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dr. M. Veerappa Moily arrived in Baghdad on 6th July leading a 28 member delegation to the meeting of 17th India-Iraq Joint Commission scheduled for 7-8th July 2013. Upon his arrival, Shri Moily called on the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Nouri Al-Maliki and reiterated to him the invitation of the Prime Minister of India to the Iraqi PM to visit New Delhi. The Iraqi PM expressed that he was planning the visit to New Delhi in September, 2013. Mr. Moily while recalling the excellent bilateral relations with Iraq, and that Iraq was the second largest supplier of crude oil to India, emphasized the need for further strengthening the relationship between the two countries by increasing economic cooperation. Indian companies have the expertise to participate in many projects which were coming up in Iraq, especially in areas such as refineries, petrochemicals, fertilizers, etc. India will also be interested in gas based projects and importing LNG from Iraq besides India can share its knowledge and expertise in agriculture, infrastructure technology, pharmaceuticals, etc.
The Iraqi PM said that Iraq will have great interest in sectors connected with oil and gas especially petrochemicals, refineries and fertilizers and both countries should start working immediately on cooperation in these sectors. The meeting with Prime Minister was followed by discussions with Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Saleh al-Mutlaq, who also hosted a lunch in the honour of the visiting Minister. In the discussions with Dy. PM, the delegation members elaborated on the cooperation and possibilities in the oil and gas sector and other sectors such as steel, railways, etc. India also offered to train Iraqi personnel in oil and gas sector in the training institutes in India. India also offered to work with Iraqi Public Sector Undertaking in order to exchange ideas and expertise that could help them in becoming more efficient and profitable.