Iraqi leader Al Sudani in Moscow to discuss Middle East situation with Putin

Russian investment in Iraq believed to be worth more than $13 billion, mostly in the oil industry

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani attend a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday. Photo: Sputnik
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Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday stressed the necessity to end the continuing deadly conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Mr Al Sudani and Mr Putin "touched upon regional and international matters, including the dangerous developments in Palestinian territories", a statement from the Iraqi PM office said.

The Iraqi Prime Minister called on Russia to "swiftly move along with the permanent member states in the UN Security Council to stop the ongoing aggressions on Palestinian territories", it added.

On Saturday, Hamas militants in Gaza launched Operation Al Aqsa Flood, the biggest attack on Israel in years. The surprise assault involved gunmen crossing the border from Gaza with a heavy barrage of rockets from the Palestinian enclave. As of Tuesday, the combined death toll exceeded 1,600, with thousands more injured.

Mr Putin said the Israel-Gaza conflict showed the "failure" of Washington's Middle East policy and called the creation of "an independent sovereign Palestinian state" a "necessity".

"I think many people would agree with me that it's a clear example of the failure of US politics in the Middle East," Mr Putin said.

He spoke of the "necessity to implement the decisions of the UN Security Council on the creation of an independent sovereign Palestinian state".

Mr Putin said the US had "tried to monopolise regulating [the conflict] but, unfortunately, were not preoccupied with looking for compromises that would be acceptable for both sides".

The West had "not taken into account the fundamental interests of the Palestinian people", he said.

Mr Al Sudani arrived in Moscow early on Tuesday. An Iraqi government official said during the two-day visit the Prime Minister will engage in high-level talks with Russian officials.

Vladimir Putin blames Middle East conflict on 'failed US policy'

Vladimir Putin blames Middle East conflict on 'failed US policy'

The countries will discuss co-operation in various fields – mainly the economy and energy, said the official.

Both leaders "focused on strengthening bilateral co-operation, particularly in energy and oil industries, and discussed Russian oil companies' activities in Iraq", according to the statement.

“Issues of developing multifaceted Russian-Iraqi co-operation, as well as current topics on the international agenda, primarily the situation in the Middle East, will be discussed in detail,” the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin added that the leaders will again meet on Wednesday when both will participate in an energy forum.

Russian investments in Iraq are believed to be worth more than $13 billion, mostly in the oil industry.

Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft has been making deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq since at least 2017, pumping billions of dollars into oil production and shipping infrastructure.

Russia's Lukoil now produces some 480,000 barrels per day of oil at Iraq's southern West Qurna 2 field, while Russia's Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of the gas giant Gazprom, is involved in the Badra project in eastern Iraq and two fields in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Updated: October 10, 2023, 4:05 PM