(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The European Union and Iraq on Friday signed their first partnership agreement, a deal six years in the making, as part of a bid to strengthen ties between the two sides.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton signed the agreement. "It is a great day for my country," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari later told reporters.
"It is a historical event also ... Iraq, which used to be a pariah state and isolated with sanctions, (has managed) to come back and be reintegrated into the international community."
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement sets out the rules for EU-Iraq cooperation on issues such as trade, investment in the energy sector, human rights, the fight against terrorism and the modernization of Iraq's economy.
The two sides will now hold regular meetings aimed at exploring areas of mutual interest.
"That is what this agreement is all about - sealing our common wish to work together on a whole range of issues where we have much to gain," Ashton said.