Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday arrived in Baghdad for the first visit in five years, at a time when the nation is dealing with mass protests against corruption and social problems, APA reports citing media.
Lavrov is expected to meet with the national leadership in Baghdad and the authorities of the Kurdish autonomous region in Erbil, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said last month.
"During the talks, the sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on key aspects of the middle East agenda, focusing on the situation in Iraq and Syria, the Persian Gulf, the situation around Iran and in the Palestinian territories," Zakharova said.
According to the diplomat, a special attention will be paid to efforts to boost cooperation in combating international terrorism and the spread of religious extremism.
Bilateral relations will be also on agenda, including cooperation in the energy sector and humanitarian ties.
Iraqi Ambassador to Russia Haidar Mansour Hadi, in turn, said in September that Lavrov would be received by President Barham Salih and Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, as well as meet with the foreign minister and the parliament speaker.
Speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow, Hadi said that the visit proved that "Russia seeks to show that it supports stabilization in the Middle East."
He also noted that Russian oil and gas companies would accompany Lavrov during the visit.