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BAGHDAD, February 11. /TASS/. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has called for diversifying Russian-Iraqi trade and declared that there had emerged plans for joint projects of interest in various spheres.
Speaking in Baghdad at a meeting of the bilateral inter-government commission, the first over many years, Rogozin said that the preceding consultations by experts and businesses managed to achieve certain agreements.
"Corresponding final documents have been signed regarding a number of industrial groups, including the achieved agreements and reflecting our countries’ approaches to the issues being discussed in such spheres as industry, transport, energy and others," Rogozin said.
The commission’s meeting will end with the signing of a protocol to be dispatched to the agencies concerned.
Rogozin recalled that last year Russia and Iraq had achieved a level of bilateral trade that came pretty close to the $2-billion mark - a record-high in recent years.
"Regrettably this amount has been achieved at the expense of Russian export, while the range of goods may be diversified," Rogozin said. He believes that Moscow and Baghdad should use cooperation in energy as a springboard for transition to "industrial and transport technologies and to creating the necessary infrastructures that would help Iraq develop an integral country."
Rogozin said that both countries had rather ambitious plans. "There have emerged quite remarkable ideas regarding geological exploration, agriculture, transport, education and health care," he said.
The co-chairman of the Iraqi panel of the inter-government commission, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari confirmed Baghdad’s determination to develop relations with Russia in various spheres.