Iraq foreign ministry reveals Russia FM Lavrov visit schedule
A high-ranking Russian delegation headed by Lavrov will arrive in the capital Baghdad on Sunday evening and begin its work on Monday, meeting with Iraqi officials including Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani.
Iraqi foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Al-Sahhaf said Lavrov's agenda includes meeting Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Monday, in addition to Al-Sudani, President Abdel Latif Rashid and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi.
"The visit comes in the context of affirming Iraq's openness to all its partners and friends and the importance of strategic relations with the Russian side given the enhancement of investment and economic attraction, especially with regard to energy files," Al-Sahhaf said.
He said the two sides will discuss a number of issues related to the "nature of bilateral relations" and the "importance of supporting and strengthening them in various sectors", The New Arab's Arabic sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.
The foreign ministry spokesman said Iraq-Russia ties are "essential and strategic" and that the delegation will include journalists from over 25 Russian outlets.
He said the officials will discuss the most important regional developments and explore common visions on important challenges that should be worked on jointly and strengthen regional security and stability.
Lavrov will also travel to Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region, to meet leaders there, an official source at the Iraqi foreign ministry told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed on Saturday.
Agreements related to investment and economic issues will be signed, particularly in relation to oil, gas and energy, according to the source, who said there was also the possibility of concluding new arms deals.
The source said that in Baghdad Lavrov will discuss activating a number of memorandums of understanding between the two countries, relating to issues such as health, education and energy and the issue of Iraqi students studying in Russia.