Kazakhstan - Iraq

Diplomatic relations were established by signing the Protocol dated September 14, 2015. Since September 17 2015, A. Berdibay has jointly been performing as our country's Ambassador to Iraq through the residence in Amman (Jordan).

Iraqi Embassy in Kazakhstan has been working since October 12, 2015. Since August 20th of the current year Younis Salim Sarhan is appointed as Chargé d'Iraq in Kazakhstan. Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan in Iraq is Tariq al-Abdullah (the patent until May 28, 2016).

Prospects for strengthening political relations between Kazakhstan and Iraq are immense. In past years an unstable political climate in Iraq has become the main obstacle in establishment of the link with Iran at the proper level. Complexity of relations with regional countries and disagreements in internal power adversely affect the relations with our country. The political crisis in Iraq which has lasted for many years made it impossible to establish a relationship with Kazakhstan at the proper level.

However, it is worth noting that Iraq's leadership attaches great importance on building multilateral cooperation with our country. From this point of view they show full support for our initiatives in international stage. At the Third Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia held in Istanbul on May 8, 2010 with the participation of Vice-President of Iraq, Tareq al-Hashemi, Iraq acquired the status of a full member of the organization.

Also, Iraq is participating at high level in all activities and initiatives of our country carried out in the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. In particular, in the 38th session of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held in Astana June 28-30th 2011, the delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq H. Zebari took part. In this session he held talks with Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov and Minister of Foreign Affairs E. Kazykhanov. During the talks the parties discussed issues of further strengthening of bilateral relations.

At the same time Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan K. Sarybai within the Ministerial Conference "Non-Aligned Movement", which took place in Indonesia (May 26, 2011) and Egypt (May 9, 2012), held two meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs H. Zebari. In these meetings they discussed ways of cooperation in international and bilateral policies.

In 7-9th of June 2011 the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, R.N. Shauis attended the 7th World Islamic Economic Forum. As part of this event he met with Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Karim Massimov, and discussed the opportunities for further development of bilateral relations.

On August 27, 2012 telephone talks were held between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Y. Kazykhanov and H. Zebari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq.

On August 30, 2012 Minister of Foreign Affairs Y. Kazykhanov took part in the 16th Summit of "Non-Aligned Movement", which was held in Tehran, in the framework of this event he met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq H. Zebari. During the meeting they discussed issues of further improvement of relations between the parties.

The 4th meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CICA, which was held in Astana on September 11-12th 2012, was attended by the delegation led by the Minister of Planning of the Republic of Iraq, Ali Youssef al-Shukri. The delegation included Director of the Department of Asia and Australia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RoI - Sabyr Muhammad Ismail, Director of the Department of the Ministry of Planning RoI, Nada Abdulrazzak Abduluahab and Assistant of the Minister of Planning, Suhayb Jihad Sadiq.

On September 26, 2015 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan E. Idrisov as part of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly held in New York, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, I. Al-Jafar.

During the meeting, the Iraqi government has reinstated that it will support Kazakhstan's candidacy for non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. And Iraqi side expressed its intention to exchange his voice in the above organizations for the provision of support from our country to their non-permanent membership in 2034-2035.
On September 17, 2015 Kazakhstani Ambassador in Amman A. Berdibay arrived made his working visit to Baghdad and handed over credentials to the President of Iraq, F.A. Maasumu. During the visit he met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Oil Minister, Abel Abdelmahdi.

During the meeting with President of Iran F. Mavsumi the Ambassador presented his credentials in connection with his appointment of Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Iraq. At the same time they discussed the current state of multilateral cooperation at bilateral and international level.

At the meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq I. Zhaafari, given the fact that Iraq is geographically located close to Kazakhstan government among Arab countries, he noted that there is every reason for further strengthening of relations set out in various fields with Baghdad.

Iraqi Diplomat expressed his intention to contribute to enhancing friendly relations between two States. He focused on the issue of terrorism as one of the major issues in world and dwelled on essentiality of joint efforts of all states in combating with this evil. In this context he said that there is a possibility of mutual exchange of information between to states and the visit of an official representative of National Security Committee of RoK to Baghdad.

During the conversation an Ambassador talked about the importance of giving a new impetus to trade and economic relationships between two states. He also mentioned the opportunity of using the railroad line through Kazakhstan-Iran-Turkmenistan territory for this purpose.

I. Zhaafari in his turn proposed to attract Kazakhstani investments for building the Iraqi infrastructure. Besides, the Minister asked to consider the matter with opening Kazakhstan's Embassy in Baghdad. In this connection he suggested to exchange plots of land based on parity law and mentioned that two states need to sign agreements on this regard.

Under the Ambassador's meeting with the Minister of Petroleum I. Abdelmaht, he reported on inconsistency of the current development between Astana and Baghdad with economic potential of two states and noted the importance of the use of various mechanisms to promote this sector.

There was also given a copy of the invitation letter of the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan Vladimir Shkolnik for participation in the Eurasian Forum X-KAZENERGY scheduled to take place in September 29 - October 1, 2015 in Astana.

In March 15, 2015 Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Jordan A. Berdybai met with the Ambassador of Iraq, Jaouad Abbas, in Amman. During the meeting they shared their views on strengthening of relations between the different countries and on international and regional topical issues.

We focus on the fact that there is a huge potential for trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and Iraq. Iraqis are continuing to show interest in strengthening economic cooperation. During the visit the parties the Baghdad authorities noted that they support the introduction of Kazakhstani investments in Iraq market. In this regard they expressed readiness to support Kazakhstan companies in reconstruction of infrastructure that has been destroyed by the war, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, referring to the fact that the Embassy of Iraq is located in Astana, requests to expedite the opening of Diplomatic missions in Baghdad from the Kazakhstan side in order to strengthen bilateral relations.

Introduction of Kazakhstani companies to Iraq market was discussed in May 16, 2009 between the Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral resources of RoK A.Magauov and the Minister of Petroleum of Iraq, H. al- Shakhristani, in Amman within the World Economic Forum. At the meeting the parties considered the opportunities for joint development of oil and gas production projects in Iraq.

In October 20th 2010 “KazMunayGas" EP" JSC was selected in tender on processing of “Akkas" natural of gas deposit of 158 bln m3 in Anbar district in western region of Iraq. But in 2011 Board of Directors of “KazMunayGas" decided to leave the project. This caused negative reaction from Iraqi authorities.

At the 6th Astana Economic Forum and “The 1st World anti-crisis conference" from Iraq the delegation of 24 members led by Prime Minister Roush Nuri participated. The delegation consisted of authorities like Minister of Trade Khairullah Hasan Babakr, Minister of Industry and natural resources Akhmed Nasser Delhi al-Karboli.

Within the Forum the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq R.Shauis was hosted by Prime Minister of RoK S.Akhmetov, Deputy Chairman of Senate of the Parliament of RoK,K. Ishanov. The agenda of the meeting were current status of Kazakhstan-Iraq relations and further development prospects.

Besides, at the event Minister of Trade of Iraq Khairullah Hasan Babakr met with the food corporation authorities and discussed the issues of exporting Kazakhstani wheat to Iraqi market. Today within the implementation of this project the Ministry of Trade of Iraq invited “Food Contract Corporation" of Kazakhstan to Baghdad.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq R. Shauis for the second time took part in the 7th Astana Economic Forum and the "Second World Anti-Crisis Conference", which took place in 2014, and met with Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov and Minister of Oil and Gas U. Karabalin. During the meeting they talked about the issues of current situation of bilateral relations and their development, including the creation of the Kazakh-Iraqi Intergovernmental Commission and its first meeting, as well as the date of the visit of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov to Baghdad.

The visit of R.Shauis was accompanied by the delegation composed of 34 people including senior officials such as the Minister of Trade of Iraq H. Babakr, Minister of Finance S. Al-Safi, Head of the National Investment Authority in Iraq S. Al-Araj.

Our countries are also developing cooperation in the military sphere. To support peace and security as well as in order to fulfill international obligations under cooperation on peaceful restoration of Iraq from Kazakhstan party in 2003-2008 an engineer batalion of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan (from the Kazbat) acted in Iraq as part of Stabilizing Force of Coalition. Kazakh military in Iraq destroyed more than 4 million explosives, trained more than 500 Iraqi specialists in the Iraqi Army Academy courses and provided medical assistance to 2500 civilians and Coalition troops.

At the same time, possibility for increasing the capacity of military and military-technical cooperation with Iraq is very high. Taking into consideration the fact that Iraqi budget annually allocates huge amount of money to military sphere, it is worth to mention the efficiency of release of products of Kazakhstan's military industry to the Iraqi market in future.

Due to difficult situation in Iraq the cultural and humanitarian relations are not developing at the proper level. At the moment there is no possibility of forming a close relationship with Iraq in this field. Meanwhile, there is a huge interest in the development of integration of two countries in education, health, culture and other areas. In particular, promotion of cooperation between the parties can assist in exchange of scientific experience and the creation of opportunities to train Iraqi students in higher educational institutions of our country in accordance with the bilateral agreement.

The 3rd Islamic Conference of Ministers of Health of member-states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held in Astana in September 29 -October 2, 2011, was attended by the Iraqi delegation led by Deputy Minister of Health of Iraq H. Hussein Ali. They held a meeting with the Minister of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan S. Kayyrbekovoy, where they discussed issues on further strengthening of cooperation between two countries in the field of public health.

Also, the delegation led by the Minister of Environment of Iraq Sargon Sliu participated at the 5th Islamic Conference of Ministers of the Environment, which was held under the auspices of ISESCO in Astana on May 17-18, 2012.

At the meeting of V-Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, held in Astana on May 10-11, 2015, from Iraqi side the delegation attended under the leadership of Imam Abu Hanifa mosque in the city of Baghdad, the Chairman of a group of scientists in Muslim Law, A. Taha.

If the political crisis in Iraq stabilizes, the possibility will occur to supply several kinds of consumer products, building materials, metal and prefabricated parts, electric hydraulic pumps, oil and energy. Kazakhstan government and private companies will be able to take part in the reconstruction of health and education, agriculture facilities, including improvements in water supply and irrigation systems. For the restoration of Iraq's infrastructure, we want to say about the validity of the direction of specialists of different spheres of our country to Iraq.

Iraq is the most closely located to Kazakhstan state in the Arab world. Therefore, this factor will have a positive impact on the further development of relations between two countries.

According to Kazakhstan Statistics Agency, trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Iraq by the end of 2013 amounted to 34 mln USD (export), and in 2014 this figure decreased to 10 months in 2015 to 5.9 mln USD. In 10 months in 2015 trade turnover between two countries amounted to 9.1 mln USD.

Created at : 15.03.2016, 17:15, Updated at : 15.03.2016, 17:15