Baghdad Seeks Belarus Expertise with Provision of Drinking Water

Developing relations with Belarus is one of the main priorities of Iraq's foreign policy. This was announced by Mayor of Baghdad Adnan Abe Hamed, who arrived with a delegation in Belarus on Tuesday March 4 to strengthen ties between the two governments.

As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, the mayor emphasised that it was 'Saddam Hussein's decision' to develop close relations with Belarus.

Yesterday Mr Hamed met Chairman of Minsk City Council Mikhail Pavlov, became acquainted with the work of the city authorities and visited a number of Belarus enterprises including the Minskvodokanal water supply company.

The mayor of Baghdad said that he and his delegation were most interested in Belarus' experience with providing drinking water as well as the sewerage system and the utilisation of sewage. He explained that several areas of Baghdad are currently suffering from a shortage of drinking water. 'No new sources of water have been developed since 1990 as a result of cruel and unjustified sanctions,' said Mr Hamed.

The mayor went on to say that in the event of war the city administration would continue to provide regular services to the population as well as 'fight to defend the homeland.'

The press office of Minsk city council reported that the Iraqi delegation 'will spend all day studying the municipal services that Minsk provides.'