Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino received Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Al Shawys in Rome today at the head of a ministerial delegation, on a visit to Italy with the aim of increasing trade and investments and of encouraging the ever-increasing contribution of Italian small and medium sized enterprises to the diversification of Iraqi production.
A common commitment to intensifying bilateral relations was underscored, on the strength of the important results achieved by the Third Italy-Iraq Joint Commission that took place in Rome within the framework of the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation signed in 2009.
Minister Bonino spoke of Italy’s solid friendship with Iraq, pointing out the opening of Italian consulates in Erbil and Basra.
Expressing appreciation for the normalisation of relations between Kuwait and Iraq, “a major development in regional stability”, Emma Bonino congratulated Deputy Premier Al Shawys for the Arab League’s decision to proclaim Baghdad the “Cultural Capital of the Arab World” for 2013, underscoring the high profile of cultural cooperation between our two nations, first and foremost in academic and archaeological sectors.
After illustrating the Iraqi government’s commitment to fighting terrorism and to the pursuit of a political road map that should culminate with political elections in 2014, Deputy Minister Al Shawys invited Minister Bonino to make an official visit to Baghdad, also expressing his hopes in the greater presence of Italian enterprises in the reconstruction of Iraq.