Japanese Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu informed his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein, on Saturday of Tokyo’s plans to provide up to 32.7 billion yen in low-interest loans to Baghdad to help finance repair work at the Basra refinery in southern Iraq.
Motegi offered the loans at a meeting with Hussein in Baghdad.
He is the first Japanese foreign minister to visit Iraq in 15 years. His visit was not announced beforehand for security reasons.
At the meeting, Motegi and Hussein exchanged views on regional issues including the situation in Afghanistan, now under the control of the Taliban.
Motegi said he is convinced that Japan’s initiative of a free and open Indo-Pacific will contribute to the development of the Middle East.
Hussein said he believes in the importance of the rule of law as spelled out under the initiative.
Later on Saturday, Motegi paid a courtesy call on Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Iraqi President Barham Salih.
Motegi left on a 10-day tour of seven Middle Eastern countries on August 15, where he visited Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Israel and Turkey with plans to also visit Iran and Qatar before he returns to Tokyo on August 25, making it the longest tour of the region by a Japanese foreign minister.