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GCC renews support for project to link power grids with Iraq

July 18, 2020 at 1:13 pm

Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council at the 37th Leaders Summit in Manama, Bahrain on December 6, 2016 [Stringer/ Anadolu Agency ]

Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Washington and Baghdad, renewed their full support for the project to link GCC and Iraqi power grids, and invited participants of the International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq to fulfil their pledges.

This came after a meeting held on Thursday with the participation of the GCC’s General Secretariat, the Iraqi government and the US to discuss cooperation in development projects in Iraq.

The meeting addressed the implementation of the memorandum of understanding signed in April 2019 between the GCC General Secretariat and the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in addition to the joint work plan (2019-2024) that was concluded to enhance cooperation with Iraq in all fields, according to statements published on the GCC’s official website.

The US State Department confirmed Washington’s commitment to facilitate and ensure the necessary support for this project, which will play a role in boosting the economy and providing electricity to Iraqis, especially in the southern governorates.

Participants in the meeting, held via video conferencing, expressed their aspiration to increase cooperation between the two countries’ economic and energy councils as a basis for peace, development, and prosperity in the region, reported Elaph.

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The GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), located in the city of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, was established on 31 December, 2001, with the aim of linking energy systems in the GCC member states.

The three parties called on the countries that participated in the International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, held in Kuwait in 2018, to fulfil their promises to Baghdad, as they pledged $38 billion for the reconstruction of the areas affected by the war against Daesh, which Iraq believes requires $80 billion.

Last year, Baghdad confirmed that repairing and modernising the country’s electricity network requires investments of at least $30 billion.

The power cut that took place in July 2019 sparked protests in Iraqi cities, starting from Basra in the south of the country.

The US and Iraq discussed, with the launch of the strategic dialogue last June, sending economic advisers to work directly with the Iraqi authorities in order to: “Strengthen the level of international support for the reform efforts of the government.”