Greek and Iraqi foreign ministers sign memorandum of understandings

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and his Greek Counterpart Nikos Dendias pose for a picture in Baghdad, October 14, 2020.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday for talks with senior Iraqi officials to discuss several common issues.

Dendias met with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein upon his arrival to Baghdad to discuss bilateral relations between both countries.

Both ministers signed memorandum of understandings on trade relations between Iraq and Greece following their meeting.

Greek foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the ministers would sign “Memoranda of Understanding on political consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs and cooperation on diplomatic training”.

In a joint press conference, Hussein said Greece had helped Iraq in its fight against Islamic State (ISIS) militants and had provided military support to the country.

Hussein further said strengthening and developing trade relations between Iraq and Greece is also important as the latter relies on Iraq’s crude oil for its needs by 50%.

“Greece is an important partner for Iraq and has a wide experience in the field of energy,” Hussein said

The Greek foreign minister, for his part, said Turkey’s incursion into Iraq is a violation against international laws and U.N. conventions.

Ankara intermittently carries out airstrikes and artillery shelling against suspected positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on the Kurdistan Region’s border areas with Turkey and Iran.

“Turkey has created tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria and Eastern Mediterranean,” Dendias said in the joint press conference.

Greece and Turkey are at odds over the rights to potential hydrocarbon resources in the area, based on conflicting claims over the extent of their continental shelves.

Tensions escalated this month after Ankara dispatched the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel in a disputed area following the pact between Athens and Cairo.

The Greek foreign minister will also meet Iraqi President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi during his official visit to Baghdad.

The minister will also visit the Kurdistan Region, according to the Greek foreign ministry.

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