BAGHDAD, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Iraq and Turkey on Thursday expressed their desire to enhance bilateral ties and expand economic cooperation with the aim of increasing investments and creating job opportunities.
A statement by the presidency media office said that the Iraqi President Barham Salih met with the Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, who arrived in Baghdad to participate in the Iraqi-Turkish Business Forum which kicked off in the Iraqi capital earlier on the day.
"Salih stressed the importance of enhancing and expanding the level of trade exchange between Iraq and Turkey," the statement said.
He also confirmed the importance of the contribution of the Turkish companies in Iraq's reconstruction in order to revitalize the Iraqi economy and help create job opportunities, it said.
Pekcan also held a meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
Abdul Mahdi hailed the "common desire to develop relations in economic and trade fields and all other fields that serve the common interests of the two neighboring peoples," according to a statement by the prime minister's media office.
For her part, the Turkish minister confirmed her country's keenness to increase cooperation with Iraq and raise the level of trade exchange, it added.
The Turkish minister arrived in Baghdad in the morning, heading a delegation comprising a number of lawmakers and businessmen to participate in the Iraqi-Turkish Business Forum, which aimed at promoting cooperation and expanding opportunities of investment.
Earlier in the year, Turkish Embassy in Iraq told reporters in Baghdad that Turkey expects to increase its trade volume with Iraq to 20 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.