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Iraq-French Trade, Diplomatic Cooperation On Upswing

PARIS -- France says it plans to open more diplomatic missions in Iraq in the near future, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Iraq's ambassador to Paris, Muwaffaq Aboud, told RFI that France plans to open a consulate in Iraq's second-largest city, Basrah, as well as trade and military missions in Baghdad.

France recently opened a consulate in Iraq's northern city of Irbil.

Also this week, an Iraqi-French Committee for Economic Cooperation met in Paris for the first time since 1989.

Iraq signed a $488 million contract to purchase 24 military helicopters from France.

It was the first arms deal between the two countries since 1990.