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MOSCOW, July 24. /TASS/. Iraq is open for closer cooperation with Russia on the backdrop of successful anti-terror efforts in the region, Iraqi Vice President Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday.
"We want bigger openness and closer friendship with Russia," he said at a meeting with speaker of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house Valentina Matviyenko in Moscow. "Time has come to be ever more open for Russia in the light of what has been done in the sphere of fighting against terrorism and terrorist organizations."
"Along with the parliamentary level meeting, we will have talks with President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin. It is a signal of firm commitment to strengthen bilateral relations," he said, adding that Iraq believes in Russia’s role in the settlement of a great number of international problems, strengthening security both in the Middle East and in the entire world.
"Historically, Russia has close relations with Iraq. That is why, we would like to see Russia’s visible presence in our country, both in terms of politics and defense," he said after a meeting with speaker of Russia’s Federation Council upper parliament house Valentina Matviyenko. "It would create balance the region, its nations and countries need."
"Iraq wants to strengthen strategic cooperation in such areas as electricity generation, oil sector, research cooperation, university training, economy and trade, as well as political and military spheres," he said.
Iraqi Vice President Nuri al-Maliki is on a working visit to Russia. Earlier in the day, he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Later in the day, he will go to Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg where he is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.