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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq, Emphasizing to Enrich Connotations of China-Iraq Strategic Partnership and Build Upgraded Version of Mutually Beneficial Cooperation

On the afternoon of December 22, 2015, Premier Li Keqiang held talks at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq who was on an official visit to China.

Haider al-Abadi first expressed his condolences for the casualties and property loss in the landslide accident in a Shenzhen industrial park.

Li Keqiang appreciated the condolences of Haider al-Abadi, expressing that the Chinese government is sparing no efforts to organize rescue work and trying its utmost to minimize casualties.

Li Keqiang stated that Iraq is China's important cooperative partner in West Asia and North Africa. China attaches great importance to developing China-Iraq relations, firmly supports Iraq to safeguard its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and backs the Iraqi government's efforts to advance its domestic political reconciliation and economic reconstruction and to maintain domestic stability. China is willing to, together with Iraq, further deepen political mutual trust, soundly promote cooperation in all sectors, enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges and enrich the connotations of China-Iraq strategic partnership so as to push bilateral cooperation in various fields for more fruitful achievements.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China is ready to expand energy cooperation with Iraq, actively participate in Iraq's oilfield development and refinery construction, and establish a long-term and stable energy cooperative partnership integrating both upstream and downstream. China will conduct cooperation in production capacity with Iraq, with the focus on assisting Iraq in enhancing its productivity and training technicians in the fields such as cement, steel, sheet glass and engineering machinery. China will participate in Iraq's infrastructure construction of electricity, airports, ports, communications and others to help its economic reconstruction, strengthen exchanges in agricultural experience and technologies, enlarge the trade scale of agricultural products, deepen cooperation in human resources development and promote the facilitation of personnel and goods exchanges. It is hoped that Iraq will take effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and enterprises in Iraq and provide them with convenience.

Haider al-Abadi noted that the friendly exchanges between Iraq and China enjoy a long history. Iraq appreciates China for its long-term support for Iraq's economic development and social stability. At present, Iraq is faced with the urgent tasks of reconstructing economy and improving people's livelihood. It is ready to strengthen the long-term mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two countries in sectors of infrastructure construction, oil, electricity, communications and others, and further expand and deepen bilateral friendly cooperative relations. Iraq expects that Chinese enterprises will expand investment cooperation with Iraq in the above sectors.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern. Haider al-Abadi appreciated China's positive and constructive role in promoting peace and stability in the Middle East.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcome ceremony for Haider al-Abadi at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Liu Xiaofeng and others attended the ceremony.

After the talks, the Chinese Premier and the Iraqi Prime Minister witnessed together the signing of bilateral cooperative documents in fields including personnel exchange facilitation, economic and technological cooperation and energy.

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