GCC secretary general and Iraqi PM discuss Gulf power line project

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RIYADH: Iraq’s prime minister and the GCC secretary general held talks  on Monday to boost trade and supply electricity from the Gulf.

Iraqi leader Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Nayef Al-Hajraf also discussed rebuilding Iraq after the war with Daesh.

Iraq has been blighted by a woeful power supply in recent years which feeds public anger and protests at the government’s inability to provide basic services. 

Iraq signed a deal in 2019 with the GCC to build a power line that would import 500 megawatts of electricity.

During their meeting in baghdad, Al-Hajraf updated Al-Kadhimi on progress with the line that will connect Iraq to the Gulf’s power grid from Kuwait.  

The Iraqi prime minister, who took office in May last year amid a series of crises and widespread protests, said he wanted to strengthen relations with  GCC countries “to accomplish goals and economic and commercial growth.” 

Al-Kadhimi stressed the importance of open dialogue between Iraq and the GCC, a statement said.

Al-Hajraf said it was important to strengthen Iraq and help with its efforts at targeting terrorism.

Iraq is still recovering form a devastating period between 2014 and 2017 when extremist group Daesh occupied swathes of Iraqi territory.

Relations between Iraq and Gulf countries have steadily improved in recent years. A donor conference in Kuwait in 2018 to help the country rebuild raised pledges of $30 billion.

Last year, the GCC and Iraq signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation between the nations and enhance economic development, security and investment.

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