Egypt and Iraq signed 11 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in the financial, commercial, tourism, administrative development, and diplomatic fields on Tuesday, 13 June, during a two-day visit to Cairo by Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani.
Al Sudani arrived in Cairo on Monday, 12 June and was received by his Egyptian counterpart, Mostafa Madbouly, for a second session of the Egyptian-Iraqi Joint Higher Committee, co-chaired by the two Prime Ministers. The Committee brings together high-level officials from both countries to discuss avenues for strengthened cooperation.
Al Sudani was accompanied by the Iraqi Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Housing and Electricity; the Governor of the Iraqi Central Bank; and the Chairman of the National Investment Authority, all of whom attended the meeting with Madbouly and a number of senior Egyptian officials.
The MOUs signed in the meeting address various fields and sectors, reads a statement issued by the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office. Areas of cooperation covered include finance, economic trade, administrative development, social protection, youth and sports, tourism, and diplomatic training.
The Iraqi Prime Minister’s visit notably began on the same day that the country’s parliament approved the biggest budget in its history – USD 153 billion – dedicated to rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, with the signing of the MOUs indicating that Egypt will play an important role in this reconstruction effort.
During his two-day visit Al-Sudani was also received by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who affirmed Egypt’s “unwavering support for the security and stability of Iraq”, as well as its “keenness to strengthen and diversity the frameworks of mutual bilateral cooperation”, according to a statement issued by the Spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency.
Al-Sisi also emphasized Egypt’s commitment to its tripartite cooperation mechanism with Iraq and Jordan, reads the statement. This framework for deeper economic integration between the three countries has been taking shape since 2019, and has been referred to by some analysts as the Amman-Baghdad-Cairo or “ABC Agreement.”
Al Sudani echoed Al-Sisi’s remarks, also noting that he hopes to build upon the fruits of his most recent visit to Cairo, which took place in March 2023, during which the Iraqi Prime Minister had already expressed his desire to boost economic cooperation, noting that “Egyptian companies have great chances to participate in investment projects stated in the Iraqi government’s budget.”
The deepening ties between the two countries have also played a role in the ongoing detente between Egypt and Iran, between whom relations have been deeply strained for decades. Recently, however, Iraq has hosted a series of meetings between Egyptian and Iranian officials who are working to normalize relations. The next round of meetings is expected to take place in Baghdad later this month.