Indo-Iraqi relations

Indo-Iraqi relations

The bilateral relations between the Republic of Iraq and the Republic of India have been traditionally friendly and collaborative. They advanced considerably during the rule of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the 1990s over strategic issues, oil and commerce. [ India, Iraq Agree on Cooperation] ] Although initially disrupted during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, diplomatic and commercial ties between India and the new democratic government of Iraq have since been normalized. [ Iraq prizes ties with India: Saddam] ]


Iraq was one of the few countries in the Middle East with which India established diplomatic relations at the embassy level immediately after its independence in 1947. [ US-Iraq War: India's Middle East policy] ] Both nations signed the "Treaty of Perpetual Peace and Friendship" in 1952 and an agreement of cooperation on cultural affairs in 1954. [ US-Iraq War: India's Middle East policy] ] India was amongst the first to recognize the Baath Party-led government, and Iraq remained neutral during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. However, Iraq sided alongside other Gulf States in supporting Pakistan against India during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which saw the creation of Bangladesh. [ US-Iraq War: India's Middle East policy] ] The eight-year long Iran–Iraq War caused a steep decline in trade and commerce between the two nations. [ US-Iraq War: India's Middle East policy] ]

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, India remained neutral but also permitted refueling for U.S. airplanes. [ US-Iraq War: India's Middle East policy] ] It opposed U.N. sanctions on Iraq, but the period of war and Iraq's isolation further diminished India's commercial and diplomatic ties. [ US-Iraq War: India's Middle East policy] ] From 1999 onwards, Iraq and India began to work towards a stronger relationship. Iraq had supported India's right to conduct nuclear tests following its tests of five nuclear weapons on May 11 and May 13 1998. [ US-Iraq War: India's Middle East policy] ] In 2000, the then-Vice President of Iraq Taha Yassin Ramadan visited India, and on August 6 2002 President Saddam Hussein conveyed Iraq's "unwavering support" to India over the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. [ US-Iraq War: India's Middle East policy] ] [ India, Iraq Agree on Cooperation] ] India and Iraq established joint ministerial committees and trade delegations to promote extensive bilateral cooperation. [ Iraq prizes ties with India: Saddam] ] [ Iraq Economic and Commercial Relations] ]

Oil-for-Food scandal

India's ties with Iraq suffered due to the U.N. sanctions on Iraq, but India soon developed trade within the Oil-for-Food program, which permitted Iraq to export oil for essential goods. [ Iraq Economic and Commercial Relations] ] However, a 2005 investigation of the program revealed that the then-Indian minister of external affairs Natwar Singh had received kickbacks from the Baathist regime, leading to his resignation. [ India's Foreign Minister Fired] ]


India had preserved its neutrality over the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, criticizing the lack of U.N. approval, but also hinted that it would consider sending troops to post-war Iraq to help maintain security and peace after a unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council over the Coalition's presence and mission in Iraq. [ India will consider sending troops] ] .However this was ruled out after protests from public and political parties which have been opposing USA. It normalized its ties with the new democratically-elected government of Iraq in 2005, seeking to restart trade and co-operation. Indian businesses applied for contracts for reconstruction projects to the Coalition Provisional Authority, and more recently the activities of Iraqi businesses in India have been growing rapidly. [ Iraq Economic and Commercial Relations] ]

ee also

* Saddam Beach, a village in India named after former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein


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