| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Aoun, Iraqi delegation discuss means of cooperation

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, on Thursday welcomed at Baabda Presidential Palace, an Iraqi delegation headed by Iraqi Minister of Health and Environment, Dr. Hassan Al-Tamimi.

The meeting, which took place in the in presence of Caretaker Minister of Health, Dr. Hamad Hassan, reportedly touched on the best means to boost cooperation between both countries.

Aoun, affirmed his full readiness to facilitate the implementation of agreements signed between Lebanon and Iraq, and expressed his hope to reach a common market among Arab Mashreq countries, which he had always sought to achieve before the wars in region countries. The President also revealed that he would study the possibility of putting up his relevant initiative again.

Aoun also expressed high appreciation for the efforts of the Iraqi government and its approval of Lebanon’s request to provide it with crude oil in exchange for medical services, expressing his hope that the humanitarian economic cooperation between the Lebanese Ministry of Health and the Iraqi Oil Ministry, will be the beginning of a long-term cooperation which will be implemented in the near future, in the interest of both countries.

Aoun’s stances came while receiving the Iraqi Health and Environment Minister, Dr. Hassan Al-Tamimi, who was heading a delegation which included: head of the Arab Department in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Dr. Osama Al-Rifai, Charge D’Affairs of the Iraqi Embassy to Lebanon, Mr. Amin Abdullah Al-Nasrawi, Administrative Undersecretary of the Health Ministry, Dr. Hani Musa Al-Uqabi, Health Ministry Advisor, Dr. Jawad Ibrahim, Zain El-Abdin Hospital Director, Professor Safaa Al-Husseini, and the Advisor of the Iraqi Embassy to Lebanon, Mr. Ahmed Jamal.

Attending the meeting on the Lebanese side were: Minister of Health, Dr. Hamad Hassan, former Minister, Salim Jreisatti, Adviser of the President for Health Affairs, Dr. Walid Khoury, Director General of the Presidency of the Republic, Dr. Antoine Choucair, Director of Arab Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates,Ambassador Ali Al-Mawla, and advisors RaficShalala, Antoine Constantine and Osama Khashab.

At the beginning of the meeting, which dealt with bilateral relations and ways to enhance cooperation between Lebanon and Iraq, in addition to preparing for an agreement to supply Lebanon with crude oil in exchange for medical and health services, Minister Al-Tamimi thanked President Aoun for receiving the delegation and conveyed to him the greetings of the President of the Iraqi Republic, Barham Salih and Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi. Minister Al-Tamimi also pointed out that his visit aims to support the Lebanese people in facing the Corona virus, in addition to discussing the files that support the efforts of Health Ministries to promote health in both countries and eliminate this pandemic, and some agreements signed by the two ministries and ways to activate them.

In addition, the Iraqi Minister expressed his happiness at framing the relationship on the health side with Lebanon, wishing that there would be other promising agreements in this field in light of the existing cooperation, pointing out that the Lebanese presence in Iraq is large and there are Lebanese medical teams in the public and private sectors and a lot of Lebanese workers in the fields of oil and tourism. “The Iraqi government is very interested in our brothers in Lebanon, far from the humanitarian situation, Lebanon and Iraq are two brotherly countries, and the Lebanese people were exposed to an emergency situation after the port explosion, which greatly affected the Iraqi economy” Al Tamimi said.

Minister Al-Tamimi also stressed his aspiration to the future visit of Lebanese Minister of Health to Iraq, to implement bilateral agreements.

Al Tamimi said: “This visit was to support the efforts of the Lebanese Health Ministry, to confront Corona virus, as well as to support its efforts by providing aid and medical devices which contribute to reducing the effects of the pandemic on the brotherly people of Lebanon.”

The Iraqi-Lebanese agreement signed between the Iraqi and Lebanese Health ministries, was discussed within the framework of joint agreements to support the Iraqi and Lebanese medical sectors and the exchange of medical expertise, first to confront the pandemic and secondly in the field of providing full support to the two ministries through the expertise existing in the two countries, and the joint framework agreement which was emphasized by His Excellency the President, which must be implemented. There is an Iraqi government tendency to support the Lebanese brothers in all directions, including the field of great health cooperation.

We also agreed with the Health Minister, to form a joint working group. Work has already begun at the level of experts to implement this agreement, especially in benefiting from the experience of the Lebanese brothers in managing hospitals and in logistical support in matters of nursing and medical services. We have previous dealings with the Lebanese hospitals and a joint work exchange.

  • Lebanese National News Agency