China is ready to consolidate traditional friendship and deepen political mutual trust with Iraq, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday.
In a phone conversation with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Wang said that after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, China was the first to send a team of anti-epidemic experts to Iraq, provided Iraq with multiple batches of anti-epidemic supplies, and assisted Iraq in building a nucleic acid testing laboratory.
Noting that a new batch of COVID-19 vaccines has been dispatched to Iraq recently as the emergency aid, Wang said that China stands ready to continue to offer support to help Iraqi brothers tide over difficulties at an early date and achieve victory in the fight against the coronavirus.
Wang thanked the Iraqi side for understanding and supporting China's position on China's internal affairs related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong, adding that supporting China means upholding non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, which is one purpose and principle of the UN Charter, as well as supporting the common interests of developing countries.
China is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Iraq to truly promote the healthy development of the international human rights cause, Wang said.
Whether during the most severe security situation in Iraq or after the epidemic broke out last year, Chinese companies have always stayed in Iraq, providing necessary guarantee for the national economy, people's livelihood and economic operation of Iraq, Wang said, adding that it has fully demonstrated China's firm support to Iraq and the great importance it attaches to bilateral relations.
In the next stage, the two sides should focus on the post-epidemic era and further discuss and advance cooperation in various fields, Wang said, adding that China will continue to encourage and support more Chinese enterprises to take an active part in Iraq's reconstruction, and upgrade bilateral cooperation in such areas as electricity, transportation, communications and municipal administration.
As a major country in the Middle East, Iraq plays an important role in safeguarding regional peace, stability and development, Wang said, adding that the Chinese side appreciates Iraq's good relations with its neighboring countries and welcomes Iraq's contribution to regional stability and development.
China supports Iraq in resolutely and thoroughly eliminating extremist terrorist forces such as the Islamic State (IS), Wang said.
For his part, Hussein expressed his gratitude for China's support and help at the critical juncture of Iraq's fight against COVID-19, which has reflected the deep friendship of the Chinese people towards Iraq.
Iraq attaches great importance to developing relations with China, he said, expressing hope to overcome the impact of the pandemic and strengthen bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and oil.
Iraq will firmly crack down on terrorist forces such as the IS, and maintain good relations with neighboring countries, so as to safeguard regional security and stability, he added.