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Šéf české diplomacie v Iráku zakončil svou dvoudenní pracovní cestu na Blízký východ
Photo: MZV ČR / MFA CZ
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Minister Lipavský concludes his two-day working trip to the Middle East in Iraq


On Thursday, 25 May 2023, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský held talks with Iraqi officials in Baghdad on deepening political and economic cooperation and on the possibilities of Czech companies' involvement in the ongoing reconstruction and development of Iraq after years of fighting against the so-called Islamic State (Daesh). The Minister was accompanied by a delegation of fifteen Czech businessmen who met with their Iraqi partners at a business forum.

Minister Lipavský had a number of bilateral meetings on his agenda. In addition to his Iraqi counterpart, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, the Minister met with the country's President Abdullatif Rashid and Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani. In addition to mutual cooperation, they discussed security issues in the Middle East region, which remains of high importance for the whole of Europe. As in Saudi Arabia, Minister Lipavský stressed the Czech position against Russian imperialism.

In Baghdad, the Minister also met with Czech soldiers serving in military missions, as well as with their commanders. The Czech Republic has been very active in helping Iraq during the period of fighting with the Islamic State terrorist movement. "The security situation in Iraq has improved significantly. Although the Iraqi security forces still do not have one hundred percent control over their territory, I believe that the Iraqis will soon be able to create security conditions that will take our cooperation to a new level," the Czech diplomatic chief added.

A total of 11 members of the Czech Armed Forces are still serving in the NATO mission and in the headquarters of the multinational military operation, for which the Iraqi government repeatedly thanked during the meetings.

The trip to the Middle East also had a dimension of economic diplomacy. Czechia has a historical reputation in Iraq, especially as a producer of military equipment and heavy engineering. The head of Czech diplomacy therefore presented Czechia at the business forum as the seat of many globally competitive companies in innovative fields that can help Iraqi society not only in the reconstruction of the country. "Czechoslovak companies once helped to build the oil industry in Iraq, for example. Even today, Czech companies are helping to develop and build these investment units and it is quite appropriate to show up here with these companies and express political support for them," Lipavsky added.