Thirty-eight years after late Indira Gandhi visited Baghdad, a prime-minister level visit between Iraq and India will take place with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arriving here to push for greater cooperation in the energy sector and investment in the much-needed reconstruction of his country.
The three-day trip to New Delhi and Mumbai, comes close on the heels of a visit by Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid to Baghdad in June.
Maliki is due to meet with Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee and other top officials, according to Suresh Reddy, Indian ambassador to Iraq. Indian exports to Iraq totalled around $1.3 billion in 2012, up from $740 million in 2011, Reddy added. Iraq’s export to India — majority of which is oil — totalled more than $20 billion last year, compared to around $9 billion in 2011.