India is looking forward to further strengthening its relations with Iraq as an "equity partner" in areas like oil exploration and petrochemicals, the country's President, Pranab Mukherjee, said on Friday.
Speaking during the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the President added:
"Iraq has become India's second largest crude oil supplier. This is a mutually beneficial partnership. India desires to elevate the relationship from a buyer-seller into a broad-based one with equity partnership in oil production, joint ventures in oil exploration, petrochemical complexes, fertiliser plants, among others ... different MoUs to be signed during the Iraqi PM's visit would establish the institutional framework to enhance co-operation between the two countries."
According to a report from The Economic Times, he went on to say:
"India remains committed to assisting Iraq in the process of rebuilding its infrastructure and institutions. Indian entrepreneurs and Indian industries are eager to engage with Iraq."
(Source: The Economic Times)