Iraq and India sign cooperation accord to boost trade ties
Iraq and India have signed a cooperation agreement aimed at boosting bilateral economic ties in several fields, including the oil sector. The accord was signed by Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohammed Rashid and his visiting Indian counterpart, Ram Naik, after two days of meetings between Iraqi and Indian officials.
Under the agreement, India is to supply Iraq with medicine, wheat, rice, railway equipment and turbines for
electricity generations. Rashid said Iraq, India and Algeria are about to start exploring and drilling the southern
Tuba oil field.
"We are in the final stage. It is a consortium between Indian companies and the Algerian Sonatrach company, and we hope to realize it by the end of summer," Rashid was quoted as saying. Naik said India's Oil Natural Gas Corporation, which is to operate in Tuba field, has opened offices in Baghdad.
Iraq has been awarding Indian companies contracts under the UN oil-for-food program in return for India's diplomatic support at the United Nations. Thehumanitarian program allows Iraq to bypass sanctions imposed for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait and sell oil on condition that the revenue is spent on food and humanitarian goods. Rashid said the trade volume between the countries has reached about $ 1 bn under the oil-for-food deal.