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Qatar’s amir lands in Baghdad for official state visit

The trip’s agenda includes discussions over the consolidation of “fraternal relations between the two countries”.

Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani landed in Baghdad on Thursday for an official state visit following the invitation of Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ Al Sudani.

In a statement, the Amiri Diwan said that the Qatari leader was welcomed by Al Sudani upon arrival to Baghdad.

The amir’s visit to Iraq is his first since 2021 and comes months after Al Sudani became the country’s prime minister.

On Wednesday, the Amiri Diwan stated that Sheikh Tamim and Al Sudani “will discuss the consolidation of fraternal relations between the two countries, in addition to regional and international issues of common interest.”

Iraqi government spokesman Bassim Al Awadi said that the Qatari leader will hold “significant political and economic” discussions throughout the visit.

Last month, Iraq’s Oil Minister Hayan Abdel Ghani Al Sawad said the two countries are in talks for collaboration in oil and gas explorations.

“We discussed activating a number of projects in Iraq […] with a particular focus on the fifth and sixth rounds involving 19 blocks in the western region of the country,” Al Sawad said during the Qatar Economic Forum 2023 last month.

Doha’s state energy company, QatarEnergy, has already taken significant steps towards strengthening its presence in Iraq’s energy sector. 

Last month, Qatar also took part in a conference that unveiled Baghdad’s $17 billion “Development Road Project” that is set to link the Middle East and Europe.

Speaking to Iraq’s news agency at the time, Qatar’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport Hamad Issa confirmed that the regional bloc will look into the project.

“This project has a positive, economic and environmental sustainable effect in the region,” Issa said, adding that the GCC “will study” the necessary mechanisms.

In January, Iraq united the region by hosting the Arabian Gulf Cup after years of instability and foreign invasions, armed violence and mass corruption.

Iraq has struggled since the US invasion of 2003, in which the country’s health ministry said at least 151,000 were killed between 2003 and 2006. However, the total number of civilian casualties remains disputed.

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