By John Lee.
German business newspaper Handelsblatt reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel has personally intervened with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to persuade the Iraq Government to sign a major contract with Siemens to upgrade the country's electricity infrastructure.
It is understood that the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Thomas Bareiß, accompanied Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser (pictured) on a visit to Baghdad on Sunday in the hope of agreeing a multi-billion euro deal.
The German export credit guarantee company Hermes would be expected to underwrite any contract.
US-based General Electric (GE) is believed to be also in the running.