Belarus offers to sell arms, equipment to Iraq
Iran Press TV
Thu Apr 9, 2015 4:3PM
Belarus has offered to sell weapons and military equipment to Iraq in a deal that could help curb militant threats across the Arab country.
At a meeting in Minsk on Thursday with visiting Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Minsk was willing to supply Baghdad with advanced weapons and military technology.
The Belarusian leader suggested that Minsk was eager to enhance trade, economic, military cooperation with Iraq
'Trade, economic and military technological cooperation may be the foundation' for such relations, Lukashenko said, adding, 'We stand ready for building our relations along those lines.'
President Lukashenko also noted that a stable Iraq is in Minsk's national interest and could bring security and prosperity for the Iraqi people.
'A stable Iraq is what our interests in Iraq chiefly amount to. We want the Iraqi people to have a stable life, we want people there to feel that they live in a genuinely rich country and that these riches belong to the Iraqi people,' the Belarusian leader said.
The developments come as Baghdad has already purchased several used Sukhoi fighter planes from Belarus and Russia in a bid to use them against the ISIL militant positions.
Senior Iraqi officials have repeatedly criticized Washington for delaying the delivery of US F-16 jets purchased by Baghdad. They said the ISIL and al-Qaeda-linked militants' advance could have been avoided if US jets had been delivered on time.
ISIL launched an offensive in Iraq in June last year and took control of Mosul and Tikrit before sweeping through parts of the country's heartland.
On March 31, units of government forces, backed by volunteer forces, managed to retake control of Tikrit after heavy battles with ISIL. Tikrit has a strategic position as it sits on the road to Mosul.
Located some 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad, Tikrit was overrun by the ISIL terrorists in summer 2014 along with Iraq's second largest city of Mosul and other areas in the Arab country's Sunni heartland.
The ISIL terrorists have committed heinous crimes and threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and Izadi Kurds, during their advances in Iraq.
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