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Prospects of cooperation between Kazakhstan and Iraq at the expert level

On June 25, 2024, a meeting was held at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the Chargé d’Affaires of Iraq in Kazakhstan, Jaber Najm Abdullah Al-Tamimi.

The main goal of the envoy’s visit was to enhance cooperation between the scientific centers of the two countries. Mr. Jaber Najm Abdullah Al-Tamimi proposed considering the possibility of establishing scientific and expert links and exchanging experiences with Iraq’s leading think tank, the Center for Strategic Studies “Al-Nahrain.”

Yerkin Tukumov, Director of KazISS, emphasized the importance of interaction between the expert communities of the two countries. He highlighted that such interaction would enable our governmental bodies, businesses, and citizens to explore new ideas and opportunities to pursue mutually beneficial cooperation and partnership.

“Today Iraq is a different story, full of optimism and future plans, as we have largely established security and stability in the country,” emphasized Jaber Najm Abdullah Al-Tamimi. Currently, the Iraqi government, in cooperation with Turkey, Iran, Qatar, and the UAE, is actively implementing a major road and infrastructure project to integrate the southern and northern regions of the country. They are pursuing an economic diversification policy, with a focus on agricultural and livestock development. According to him, Iraq produces 4 million tons of grain annually but aims to import an additional 4 million tons from Kazakhstan. On the international stage, Iraq adheres to a balanced foreign policy aimed at mediation and mediation in the region, exemplified by its active role in reconciling Turkey with the Gulf countries.

In turn, Yerkin Tukumov, Director of KazISS, noted that Kazakhstan uniquely understands and shares the value and importance of the aforementioned foreign policy strategy, as Kazakhstan has been consistently pursuing a balanced multi-vector foreign policy for many years, demonstrating success on the international stage, including in mediation initiatives.

It is worth noting that the development of Kazakhstani-Iraqi relations is gradually gaining positive momentum. The main areas of cooperation are focused on trade, economics, and transport logistics. Kazakhstan views Iraq as a promising trade partner in the Gulf region, while Kazakhstani entrepreneurs are interested in exporting domestic products to the Iraqi market. Political interaction and dialogue between the countries are also progressing within international organizations such as the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Economic Cooperation Organization, and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.

The parties also discussed the situation in the Middle East and its impact on the international agenda, expressing concern about the possibility of the conflict spreading to other countries in the region.