India willing to work for reconstruction of IraqJune 12th, 2008 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday called for “cross investments” between India and the Arab countries in the energy sector and expressed the government’s willingness to work for reconstruction of violence-torn Iraq. Mukherjee pointed out that the Indian work force in the Arab countries, at different levels and fields, had already earned a reputation for being “peace loving, disciplined and dedicated”. People in many parts of India have also succeeded in improving their living standards, thanks to remittances from the Indians working in these countries.
“Both India and the Arab countries need to build on these foundations and engage in a wide cross-section of areas that are critical to our national interests, for example, through cross investments in each other’s energy sector,” the minister said.
Mukherjee was a speaking at a function to launch retired Indian diplomat R.S. Kalha’s book “The Ultimate Prize: Oil and Saddam’s Iraq” here.
Describing Iraq as an important part of the Arab world, the minister said: “The UN has a critical and urgent role to play in the process of political and economic reconstruction of Iraq.”
Without naming any country, he also made it clear that the “international community”, especially Iraq’s neighbours, should help find a lasting solution to the violence and sectarian strife that is “tearing Iraq apart”.
Mukherjee made it clear that India was willing to work for reconstruction of Iraq both at the bilateral level as well as through multilateral efforts.
“As a fried of Iraq, India is committed to its reconstruction in all fields and we are willing to do so both bilaterally and through support to multilateral efforts,” the minister added.