Japan pledges $300mn help towards Iraq’s oil refinery

Tokyo: Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has announced to extend assistance up to $300 million in low-interest loans to Iraq to assist the country’s plan to upgrade one of its oil refineries.

The pledge was made during Motegi’s trip to Baghdad, the first visit to Iraq by a Japanese foreign minister since Taro Aso in August 2006, the Japan Times reported on Sunday.

The Japanese Foreign Minister, during the trip, also held a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein.

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As per the the ministry, the financial aid will be used to expand one of Iraq’s major refineries in Basra, southern Iraq, as part of the efforts to rebuild the economy.

Meanwhile, besides Hussein, Motegi also held separate talks in Baghdad with Iraqi President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and the two sides reportedly agreed to step up cooperation in ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East country.

The Foreign Ministry did not announce Motegi’s visit to Iraq – which came as part of his Middle East tour – due to safety reasons, claimed a news report.

Motegi and Hussein also discussed regional issues including the crisis in Afghanistan, as well as ways to expand business ties between Japan and Iraq, the ministry said.

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