Baghdad confirmed the Qatari amir will make an official visit to the Iraqi capital this week.
Qatar’s amir is set to embark on an official state visit to Baghdad on Thursday, Iraqi authorities confirmed on Wednesday.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani visit will hold “significant political and economic dimensions,” according to Iraqi government spokesman, Bassim Al Awadi.
Authorities in Doha have yet to publicly announce the visit and no further information was provided.
Last month, Iraq’s Oil Minister Hayan Abdel Ghani al-Sawad said the two countries are in talks for collaboration in oil and gas explorations.
Al-Sawad made the comments on the first day of the Qatar Economic Forum 2023, which he described as an opportune platform to unveil a series of energy projects that Qatar and Iraq aim to develop in the near future.
“We discussed activating a number of projects in Iraq … with a particular focus on the fifth and sixth rounds involving 19 blocks in the western region of the country,” said Al Sawad.
During discussions with Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi, who also serves as the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, the official expressed the importance of activating various projects in Iraq.
He emphasised the need for international companies to be involved in these rounds, underscoring the pivotal role such investments could play in electricity generation and securing financial resources for Iraq’s development.
QatarEnergy has already taken significant steps towards strengthening its presence in Iraq’s energy sector.
The company recently acquired a 25% stake in the Gas Growth Integrated Project in Iraq (GGAT), which aims to harness the natural gas resources within the country. This collaboration involves a partnership with Basra Oil Company, which holds a 30% stake, and TotalEnergies, which holds 45% ownership.
Qatar’s interest in oil and gas exploration projects in Iraq signifies the nation’s commitment to expanding its energy portfolio and forging strategic partnerships in the region as it looks to become the number one LNG exporter in the world.
The investment provides hope for the Iraqi government which has been dealing with internal arrest as Baghdad grapples with Western energy corporations leaving the country.
Last month, Qatar also took part in a conference that unveiled Baghdad’s “ambitious” $17 billion “Development Road Project” that is set to link the Middle East and Europe.
Speaking to INA at the time, Qatar’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport Hamad Issa confirmed that the regional bloc will look into the project.
“This project has a positive, economic and environmental sustainable effect in the region,” Issa said, adding that the GCC “will study” the necessary mechanisms.
“Qatar’s participation in this conference came to get acquainted of this project, the possibility of implementing it in the next stage, and what are the objectives of it,” Issa noted.