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Iraq delegation visits Saudi Arabia to discuss importing electricity

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud meets with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari at the royal palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 20, 2017. ( Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Royal Council / Handout - Anadolu Agency )

An Iraqi ministerial delegation will visit Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of supplying Iraq with electricity.

The Iraqi Minister of Planning, Salman Jumaili, said in a statement that he will head a delegation to the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The delegation will include Minister of Oil, Jabbar Allaibi, Minister of Electricity, Qasim Fahdawi and Minister of Transport, Kazem Hamami.

The visit has been seen as an attempt to curb the power shortage currently engulfing Iraq.

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Jumaili said that the delegation will discuss with Saudi officials a number of issues relating to the framework of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordinating Council. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying that the Iraqi delegation will ask Saudi Arabia to supply Iraq with 1,000 megawatts of electricity. This is to meet the gap caused by Iran’s decision to suspend its policy of supplying Iraq with electricity due to accumulated debt.

Jumaili added that this step aims to provide the southern provinces with more hours of electricity to contain public anger. On Monday, the Iraqi Electricity Ministry reduced Mosul’s share of power from 750 to 400 MW to enable an increase in provisions to provinces in central and southern Iraq, which have been witnessing protests over several demands including power.

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