Meeting between Prime Minister Noda and Prime Minister al-Maliki of Iraq

November 22, 2011
  • (Photo)Meeting between Prime Minister Noda and Prime Minister al-Maliki of Iraq-1(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • (Photo)Meeting between Prime Minister Noda and Prime Minister al-Maliki of Iraq-2(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)

On Tuesday, November 22, from 6 p.m. for around 30 minutes, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting followed by a dinner with H.E. Mr. Nouri Kamil al-Maliki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq, who had made a working visit to Japan, at the Prime Minister's Office. A summary of the meeting is as follows (Participants from Japanese side: Mr. Tsuyoshi Saito, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Mr. Tadahiro Matsushita, Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Mr. Akihisa Nagashima, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister; among others. Participants from Iraqi side: Mr. Abdul Kareem Luaibi, Minister of Oil; Mr. Hadi al-Ameri, Minister of Transport; Mr. Ahmed Al-Karbooly, Minister of Industry and Minerals; Dr. Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission; among others).

1. Bilateral Relations

(1) Overview
A. At the outset, Prime Minister Noda expressed his appreciation for Iraq’s assistance in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Prime Minister commended the progress in the democratization process of Iraq, and expressed his expectations that Iraq will develop as a stabilizing force in the region even after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In addition, while noting that Japan has contributed to Iraq's development through reconstruction assistance for Iraq, the Prime Minister stated that he would like to raise the Japan-Iraq partnership to a new stage.

B. Prime Minister al-Maliki stated that the purpose of his visit to Japan was to strengthen the partnership between the two countries in a broad array of fields, and expressed his appreciation for Japan’s considerable assistance up to the present, including debt reduction, official development assistance (ODA) loans, and the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) activities. Prime Minister al-Maliki once again expressed Iraq's sympathy over the Great East Japan Earthquake.

C. Prime Minister Noda, while highly commending the improving security situation in Iraq under the leadership of Prime Minister al-Maliki, requested that the safety of Japanese people traveling to and living in Iraq is ensured. Prime Minister al-Maliki committed to make all possible efforts in this regard.

(2) Economic relations
A. Prime Minister Noda expressed his expectation that Japanese companies will actively enter the Iraqi market and contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq, and also praised a large number of achievements toward preparing the business environment, including an agreement of on principle of an investment agreement and the signing of a Framework Agreement on trade insurance. In response, Prime Minister al-Maliki noted that Iraq's safety has been improving and its legal system has also been developed, and called for an expansion in market entries by Japanese companies into the market.

B. The Prime Ministers shared the view to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the energy sector also, and to encourage dialogue and cooperation with regard to the Garraf oil field, the East Baghdad oil field and the Nasiriyah oil field. In addition, there was an offer from Prime Minister al-Maliki concerning stable supplies of LNG and supplies of crude oil in times of emergency, and Prime Minister Noda expressed his gratitude for the offer.

C. Prime Minister Noda commented that Japan would take the necessary steps to provide approximately 750 million US dollars (approximately 67 billion yen) through a new ODA loan to four projects relating to health, telecommunications and oil refineries, in order to support the rebuilding of infrastructure. Prime Minister Noda said this assistance not only completes the pledge of 5 billion US dollars but also goes beyond it. In response, Prime Minister al-Maliki said Japan's support will contribute substantially to projects in Iraq, and that he was deeply grateful.

D. The Prime Ministers decided to follow up their discussion at a Joint Economic Meeting that will be held in 2012, in order to strengthen cooperation not only in economic sectors, but also in a range of sectors.

2. Regional issues

At the dinner following the meeting, Prime Minister Noda and Prime Minister al-Maliki exchanged frank opinions on the situation in the Middle East and North Arica, where historical transformations take place. The Prime Ministers also held a friendly discussion on issues such as the preservation of Iraq's cultural heritages, and the advance of Japan and Iraq to the final qualifying round of the FIFA World Cup.

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