Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has expressed hopes that his current visit to China will be "a quantum leap" in China-Iraq ties.
A statement released by his office on Thursday, Abdul-Mahdi said "we seek, in our visit, to form a framework relations for strategic partnership in order to rise and rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, economy and society, and to achieve tangible progress in getting rid of unemployment, poverty and illiteracy.”
The delegation, that is accompanying Abdul-Mahdi in his visit, according to the statement, "is not only for the importance of China to Iraq and its global status, but because Iraq has long been seeking to develop the framework of strategic relations with the People's Republic of China.”
Abdul-Mahdi also added that "Iraq was one of the first countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative, which we seek to link the Near East to the Far East, through what has been known historically as the ancient Silk Road.”
Earlier this month, China's Ambassador to Iraq Zhang Tao told the Iraqi media that China looks forward to making joint efforts with Iraq to deepen the bilateral relations.
China is the biggest trade partner of Iraq. And Iraq is the second biggest oil supplier to China, and the fourth biggest trading partner of China in the Middle East.