Tension escalates in
BAGHDAD, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Iraq and Lebanon agreed to sign agreements
soon in different fields during the visit of Lebanese Prime Minister to Baghdad
In a televised news conference, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
said that he discussed with Fouad al-Sanyoura, the visiting Lebanese
counterpart, several issues, including trade exchange and cooperation in the
field of the oil industry and exporting.
"We have talks about trade exchange in different fields, including
providing the brotherly Lebanon with Iraqi oil, according to agreements that the
ministers of the two countries would have a role in concluding them," Maliki
He said that the "two countries agreed to form a cell in both countries in
order to put the finishing touches on agreements that would be signed soon."
The two sides also agreed to have a joint role in rebuilding and enhancing
the inter-Arab ties, Maliki added.
For his part, Sanyoura said "we advise the Arab leaders that Iraq should
return to the Arab group. The return of Iraq is an essential goal."
Sanyoura's visit to Iraq is the first for a Lebanese prime minister, and
second for top Arab leaders after the visit of Jordan 's King Abdullah II on
Aug. 11 since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
The visit of the two Arab leaders mark a considerable payoff for Iraq's
efforts for gaining greater diplomatic support from its neighbors, especially
the Arab countries.
The leaders of the Arab nations shunned tours to Iraq since fall of Saddam
in 2003 either out of security concerns or due to misgivings over the
relationship between Iraq's Shiite-led government and Iran.