BAGHDAD, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday that China is ready to strengthen its all-round cooperation with Iraq.
"China will continue to promote its friendly traditional ties with Iraq, deepen the political mutual trust between the two countries and take advantage of each other's economic strengths," Wang said during his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
"China firmly supports Iraq's efforts to safeguard its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, accelerate its political rebuilding and national reconciliation and fight against terrorism," Wang said.
For his part, Al-Maliki said Iraq thanks China for its unwavering support on the country's reconstruction.
"The two countries have witnessed significant progresses in cooperation and China is now Iraq's top trading partner," al-Maliki said. "Iraq hopes to strength its cooperation with China in the fields of economy, politics and security. Iraq has great confidence in Chinese companies and hopes more Chinese firms will invest in Iraq."
During a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, Wang said Iraq is China's reliable and important partner in the Middle East, adding that China is willing to promote high-level exchanges with Iraq, continue to firmly support Iraq's political transition and actively participate in Iraq's economic rebuilding.
Zebari reiterated Iraq's adherence to the one-China policy and its firm support for China on issues related to China's core interests and major concerns.
At a joint press conference after the meeting, Wang promised that China will strengthen its pragmatic cooperation with Iraq by helping with the country's reconstruction in the fields of energy, infrastructure and the people's well-being.
During his one-day visit, Wang also met with Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi.
Wang told al-Nujaifi that the Chinese National People's Congress, China's top legislature, attaches great importance to developing its friendly relationship with its Iraqi counterpart and is willing to share its experiences in managing state affairs.
Al-Nujaifi said Iraq has to strengthen its cooperation with China on tackling the challenges during reconstruction, adding that the cooperation will benefit both countries.
Wang arrived in Baghdad Sunday morning for an official visit at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart Zebari. Wang's visit to Iraq was the first one for a Chinese foreign minister in 23 years.