Message to Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki 2012-03-01 17:30:00 The Russian delegation, headed by special presidential envoy for the Middle East Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, has visited Baghdad. The message from Dmitry Medvedev was passed on to Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki during a meeting. The Russian President’s message reads, in part: “I would like to share some of my thoughts in continuation of the constructive dialogue between our two countries on a wide range of bilateral cooperation and current international issues. I realise that after the withdrawal of US troops, the Iraqi society will face a number of challenges which it will have to tackle independently. I am confident that your Government is capable of providing a timely response to the threats and challenges to building Iraq’s sovereignty, its unity and territorial integrity. These challenges include eradicating terrorism and crime, which stand in the way of normal life, and stepping up measures to improve the welfare of the population. I believe that efforts to promote dialogue between all the major Iraqi political forces regardless of their ethnic and religious affiliation will give a significant impetus to achieving a broad national consensus. The implementation of these steps by the Iraqi leadership will become a prime example to many states in the Middle East and North Africa, including Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain, of how people can address their problems without external intervention, which often leads to bloodshed and chaos. For its part, Russia will continue its friendly cooperation and support to Iraq in the implementation of plans leading to its advancement as a strong, democratic, independent and integral state in the interests of the Iraqi people, and regional stability and security. To this end, we are ready to work together using our rich experience of interaction to strengthen and deepen bilateral trade and economic relations. Russia is interested in infrastructure projects, including in such fields as energy, agriculture, water resources, research, culture and personnel training. The Russian business community is also ready to make a significant contribution to strengthening ties in all of these areas.” Dmitry Medvedev also invited Nouri al-Maliki to visit Russia.