RIYADH: Iraq’s prime minister and the GCC secretary general held talks on Monday to boost trade and supply electricity from the Gulf.
Iraqi leader Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Nayef Al-Hajraf also discussed rebuilding Iraq after the war with Daesh.
Iraq has been blighted by a woeful power supply in recent years which feeds public anger and protests at the government’s inability to provide basic services.
Iraq signed a deal in 2019 with the GCC to build a power line that would import 500 megawatts of electricity.
During their meeting in baghdad, Al-Hajraf updated Al-Kadhimi on progress with the line that will connect Iraq to the Gulf’s power grid from Kuwait.
The Iraqi prime minister, who took office in May last year amid a series of crises and widespread protests, said he wanted to strengthen relations with GCC countries “to accomplish goals and economic and commercial growth.”
Al-Kadhimi stressed the importance of open dialogue between Iraq and the GCC, a statement said.
Al-Hajraf said it was important to strengthen Iraq and help with its efforts at targeting terrorism.
Iraq is still recovering form a devastating period between 2014 and 2017 when extremist group Daesh occupied swathes of Iraqi territory.
Relations between Iraq and Gulf countries have steadily improved in recent years. A donor conference in Kuwait in 2018 to help the country rebuild raised pledges of $30 billion.
Last year, the GCC and Iraq signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation between the nations and enhance economic development, security and investment.