Abuja – Iraq has called on Nigeria to re-open its embassy in Baghdad to further strengthen relations between both countries.
Nigeria and Iraq closed their respective embassies in 2003, but Iraq re-opened its own in 2007 after the war in that country.
It is gathered that a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs travelled to Baghdad last month following plans to reopen the embassy.
The Iraqi Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Ali Al-Mery, on Sunday in Abuja stressed the need for closer cooperation, saying that both nations could tap from each other’s wealth of experience as they had a similar political history.
“Iraq and Nigeria have a similar independence history; we are also members of OPEC, OIC and UN; we need closer cooperation to support each other’s aspiration in global institutions,’’ he said.
Al-Mery said though both countries had bilateral relations in cultural and education matters, trade between them was low.
Though, he did not give any trade figures, he said Iraqi investors could key into the Nigerian solid minerals sector.
He said Iraqi investors would be interested in iron ore, gemstone, coal, bitumen, barytes, limestone and gold among others.
“Also agricultural produce such as cocoa, sesame seed could be of great demand.
“On the part of Iraq, its exports in electrical materials, oil and gas and other industrial goods are of great economic value,’’ Al-Mery said.
He said 40 Iraqis were living in Nigeria, while 50 Nigerians, operating mostly in the oil sector, resided in Iraq.
Nigeria and Iraq established diplomatic relations in the 1970s. (NAN)