Interview with Hoshyar Zebari

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari spoke to Rusiya Al-Yaum, Russia Today’s Arabic channel, about his views on current Baghdad-Moscow diplomatic relations.

Rusiya Al-Yaum: How do you think  Iraq’s relations with the Lukoil company will develop in the future?

Hoshyar Zebari: Lukoil is one of the leading oil companies in the world. It has a project for oil extraction in Iraq. This project started when Saddam Hussein ruled the country but it was stopped. We discussed everything with the head of Lukoil and we tried to find spheres of co-operation in oil extraction and refinement. The projects which had started before us must be renewed. But this will depend on the new oil and gas law which the parliament will pass.

R.A-Y.: How do you evaluate Baghdad-Moscow diplomatic relations?

H.Z.: We have a very special diplomatic relationship with Russia and this official visit confirms it. During this visit we agreed to expand Russo-Iraqi relations by opening consulates in different cities of both countries. Iraq hopes to reach understanding and cooperation with the Russian side, especially concerning energy and trade. Cooperation with such an international oil company as Lukoil, is extremely important for us.

R.A-Y.: What does Iraq want from Russia in terms of security and politics?

H.Z.: Our countries have historical ties and Iraq is very interested in good relations with Russia. Russia is a powerful country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It plays a very important role in the Middle East region. Of course, Russia has its own interest in the region. We need Russia to be familiar with all events taking place in our country. We’d like Russia to understand the Iraqi line. We need collaboration with Russia in the fight against terrorism because Russia has great experience in this area.