Premier Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki
On July 18, 2011, Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki at the Great Hall of the People.
Wen said in recent years, the Iraqi government and people have been committed to stabilizing the domestic situation, advancing national reconciliation and accelerating economic reconstruction. The Iraqi side has been actively developing relations with its neighbors and the international community and achieved noticeable outcomes. This conforms to the fundamental interests of the Iraqi people and is also the common aspiration of the international community. "We believe Iraq is able to realize long-term stability and economic development and contribute to regional peace and stability," the premier added.
Wen said the two countries and their peoples have a long history of exchanges and their traditional friendship has withstood the test of time. Noting China always respects the aspiration and choices of the Iraqi people, Wen reaffirmed China's support for Iraq's efforts to maintain national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to strive for stability and development. Wen said China is ready to strengthen high-level exchanges, enhance mutual understanding and trust, and conduct closer coordination and cooperation with Iraq on major international and regional issues so as to push forward bilateral ties.
"The Chinese government will encourage companies to establish a long-term and stable relationship on oil and natural gas supply and demand with the Iraqi side and expand mutually beneficial cooperation in oil exploration, refinery and equipment trade," Wen said. He said China will continue to provide assistance within its ability for Iraq's economic reconstruction, seriously implement debt relief agreements, actively participate in Iraq's infrastructure construction, and help its personnel training for improvement of its self-development capabilities.
Maliki spoke highly of the firm traditional friendship between the two countries and thanked the Chinese government and people for support and assistance amid Iraq's difficulties. The valuable assistance and support played an important role for Iraq's stability and reconstruction, Maliki said. He also vowed to take further measures to protect the safety of Chinese in Iraq and the interests of Chinese companies there. Maliki said he hopes more Chinese companies will invest in Iraq and called for the two sides to expand cooperation in such fields as oil and gas, electricity, transportation, housing, telecommunications and agriculture. He added that the Iraqi government will steadily abide by the one-China policy and will make joint efforts with China, an important strategic partner, to promote bilateral relations in all fields.
After the talks, the two leaders attended the signing ceremony of relevant bilateral cooperation documents.
Prior to the talks, Premier Wen held a welcome ceremony for Nuri Al-Maliki at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the China Zhi Gong Party Li Zhuobin, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Chang Yi and other officials attended the ceremony.