Russia to support Iraq in anti-IS fighting

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Baghdad, Feb 12: Russia on Thursday confirmed its support to Iraq in fighting against the Islamic State militant group which has seized large parts of the country.

Visiting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin held meetings with top Iraqi officials in Baghdad on Thursday, which concluded with a cooperation agreement to boost bilateral ties in various aspects, Xinhua reported.

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"Moscow can meet the needs of the Iraqi leadership in the fighting against terrorism through the exchange of information, training of security forces and providing military equipment," Rogozin said during a joint press conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

He said Moscow will provide such support "if the Iraqi government submitted a formal request for it."

Heading a delegation of about a hundred Russian officials and economic, military and investment experts, the Russian deputy premier said the two sides agreed to boost cooperation in transportation, health care and civil aviation.

The Iraqi foreign minister said the agreement would cover oil, electricity, water resources and industry.

Earlier in the day, Jaafari and Rogozin co-chaired the Russian- Iraqi inter-governmental commission in its meeting in Baghdad between the Russian delegation members and their Iraqi counterparts.

Rogozin, who arrived in Baghdad Wednesday for a two-day visit, also met with Iraqi President Fuad Masoum and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri.

IANS

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