Dacic: “Iraq is an important partner to Serbia”

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic met today with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem Al-Jaafari, who is on a visit to the Republic of Serbia.

At a press conference following the meeting, Minister Dacic underlined that Iraq was a very important economic and political partner to Serbia, adding that cooperation between the two countries should be comprehensive in scope. Minister Dacic emphasized that Serbia attached great importance to the promotion of good relations with Iraq.

The Head of Serbian diplomacy stressed that Serbia and Iraq had an interest to develop their relations, that the cooperation between the two countries should have a comprehensive character, spanning from economy, new investment opportunities, military and defence industry to the system of education.

“We wish to extend assistance to each other in accordance with the traditional friendly relations, dating back to the time of the SFRY and Tito, and also to promote relations in all areas. There are great prospects for the promotion of our relations, as we share a similar history and common interests”, said Dacic thanking the Iraqi Foreign Minister for his country’s principled position of non-recognition of the independence of Kosovo, as well as for combating the Islamic State.

Dacic stated that he and his Iraqi counterpart agreed on holding regular annual meetings.

“Serbia and Iraq are indeed far from each other, both geographically and in terms difference in temperature. But I hope that being in a friendly country will warm Minister Al-Jaafari’s heart”, said the Head of Serbian diplomacy, expressing his satisfaction with the visit by his friend and brother, Ibrahim Abdul-Kareem Al-Jaafari.

The two Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding to initiate political consultations on issues of common interest between Serbian and Iraqi Foreign Ministries, as well as an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Government of the Republic of Iraq on the abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic and official passports.

Minister Dacic noted that this was the first official visit by a Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq to Serbia, adding that Serbia had been following the situation in Iraq with fresh optimism, supporting the efforts to combat the Islamic State.

The Iraqi Foreign Minister noted that he discussed with Minister Dacic the friendly relations that were of interest for both countries and thanked Serbia for its assistance in Iraq’s fight against terrorism.

Noting that any country worldwide may face problems related to terrorism, Al-Jaafari stressed that Iraq was fighting the Islamic State and terrorism both for its own sake and for the sake of the whole world.

He commented that Iraq called on all world countries to provide assistance in re-building the country’s infrastructure and to help Iraqi citizens in exile to return to their country.