BAGHDAD, Oct 24 (KUNA) -- Russia will open consulates in Irbil in Iraq's
northern region of Kurdistan and the southern city of Basra, the Russian
Ambassador to Iraq Vladimir Jamov said.
The ambassador made the announcement following a meeting with Iraqi
President Jalal Talabani at the latter's office in Baghdad, late on Tuesday.
A government statement today said the Russian diplomat presented Talabani
with a personal letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to an
earlier contact by the Iraqi president.
During the meeting, Talabani stressed the need to further bolster relations
in politics, economy, and culture with Moscow and to implement all agreements
on cooperation in economic and financial domains in particular.
Talabani stressed "the Iraqi leadership has agreed to foster closer ties
with Russia, as such development would be in the best interest of the two
parties as well as the region and world peace."
The Iraqi president specifically pointed out his country's encouragement to
Russian companies to take part in Iraqi reconstruction efforts and to invest
in the secured regions, namely in Kurdistan, as a first phase before venturing
to other regions.
The Russian official on his part re-stressed his country's support for the
Iraqi government and said the consulates would open with weeks, first in Irbil
and later on in Basra, as part of efforts to strengthen relations. (end)
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