Deputy Prime Minister signs six Memoranda of Understanding with Iraq
- Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
- Minister for Social Inclusion
- Deputy Prime Minister
The Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard has signed six historic Memoranda of Understanding with Iraq following a meeting with the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri Al-Maliki in Baghdad.
Australia is in the final stage of its military operation in Iraq with a small number of ADF personnel concluding their involvement in building the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces on 30 July.
The Deputy Prime Minister met with Australian Defence Force personnel in both Kuwait and Baghdad to thank them for their efforts in Iraq.
The Memoranda of Understanding follow Prime Minister Al-Maliki’s visit to Australia in March which opened a new era of co-operation between Australia and Iraq.
During that visit, Prime Minister Al-Maliki and Prime Minister Rudd agreed to the development of six Memoranda of Understanding by June.
The Memoranda of Understanding were signed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and each relevant Minister in the Iraqi Government in Baghdad.
This historic agreement reflects Australia’s commitment to support and assist the Government of Iraq in its efforts to strengthen democracy and rebuild Iraq.
The Memoranda of Understanding will help facilitate ongoing direct engagement between Australian and Iraqi agencies in six key areas.
- Agriculture – to encourage the development of collaborative activities on agricultural productivity, research and food security.
- Resources and Energy – to facilitate greater opportunities for trade and investment through enhanced awareness of policy and regulatory frameworks as well as the promotion of commercial linkages between respective mining and energy industries.
- Trade Cooperation – to encourage and facilitate the negotiation of commercial contracts and investment and assist Iraq to engage in international trade.
- Education, Training and Research – to encourage and facilitate contacts and cooperation between government agencies and educational and training institutions including support for scholarships.
- Public Health – to encourage the development of collaborative activities on health including the exchange of public health and medical information, research and legislation.
- Security and Border Control – to cooperate in areas including border surveillance and monitoring; training of 243 Iraqi police in forensics and management; defence cooperation and training; and ongoing cooperation through the Bali people-smuggling process.
These Memoranda of Understanding reflect the strong bilateral relationship and the interests of both nations.