Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba arrives in Baghdad to meet Iraqi Prime Minister

Official visit involves talks with Mohammed Shia Al Sudani on regional and international challenges

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba shakes hands with Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein in Baghdad on Monday. Reuters
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Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba landed in Baghdad on Monday for an official visit to bolster ties with Iraq, the ministry said.

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in February last year, Iraq has maintained balanced ties with both Kyiv and Moscow. Baghdad has called for a ceasefire and to end the crisis through dialogue.

Mr Kuleba is scheduled to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani and Foreign Minster Fuad Hussein.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Al Sahaf said before the trip that both sides would discuss “bilateral ties, how to deal with different issues and regional and international challenges”.

Mr Al Sudani this month received a phone call from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

At the time, Mr Al Sudani spoke of the “necessity to reach a peaceful solution … and consider dialogue as a path to end this crisis that has caused lot miseries”.

For his part, Mr Zelenskyy described Iraq as a “pivotal and influential country” and said he was “keen to develop relations with Iraq in all fields”.

Iraq and Ukraine have strong diplomatic and economic relations, with Iraq importing goods such as cooking oil and iron bars for construction from Ukraine.

About 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers served in Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime. At the time, Kyiv provided the seventh-largest number of forces in Iraq. At least 18 of them were killed.

Updated: April 17, 2023, 8:50 AM