Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari confirmed Thursday that Iraq will meet India's demands of oil supplies, and vowed to enhance economic relations with India.
"The Iraqi government has reassured the Indian side that Iraq will meet its oil demands, as well as its future needs," Zebari said in a joint press conference with his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid who arrived here late Wednesday on an official visit.
Zebari also said that he and the India minister have discussed political issues as well as economic and cooperation, particularly in the fields of oil and gas.
He also said that the visiting guest has met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and he discussed with the Iraqi officials the bilateral relations and the participation of Indian companies in the reconstruction of Iraq.
For his part, Khurshid stressed that India "does not just want to be in a relationship of trade and business with Iraq, we want to be partners and we will look at all possibilities in every field to work together as partners."
Khurshid also said that he extended a letter of invitation to Maliki to visit India, saying that he hopes to see him in India " after Ramadan (in mid-August) and that would give us enormous opportunity to welcome the first democratically elected prime minister of Iraq who would then become a part of a very important history between India and Iraq."
His visit to Iraq is the first for senior Indian officials in more than two decades, after then Indian foreign minister IK Gujral visited Iraq in 1990 to help evacuate the Indian nationals due to the outbreak of the Gulf War.
According to media reports, Iraq, which has the third largest oil reserves in the world, has replaced Iran to become India's second-largest exporter of crude oil after Saudi Arabia.