EU, Iraq to sign energy pact soon

The European Commission is close to signing a preliminary agreement on energy cooperation with Iraq, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.

EU, Iraq to sign energy pact soon
The European Commission is close to signing a preliminary agreement on energy cooperation with Iraq, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday after talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"We can very soon establish a memorandum of understanding between Iraq and the European Commission on these very important issues," Barroso, head of the European Union's executive arm, told a joint news conference with al-Maliki.

He said he hoped the signing of the memorandum could be signed in a matter of weeks and that Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani had been invited to Brussels next month.

"Iraq ready for pact"

Iraq is ready for an energy pact with the European Union and is targeting an increase in its overall oil production by 2012, the European Commission said after talks with the country's oil minister on Wednesday.

"Iraq stands ready to sign at any time the draft energy memorandum of understanding that has been prepared together," the EU executive said after talks between Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Iraqi Oil and Energy Minister Hussain al-Shahristani.

"On oil, Iraq will increase its production from the actual 2.5 million barrels per day and should reach 3 million by the end of 2008.

The target is for 4.5 million by approximately 2012. This should be a favourable contribution towards decreasing oil prices. Iraq confirms it is exploring new areas for production," it added in the statement.

Reuters
Last Mod: 17 Nisan 2008, 11:39
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