BAGHDAD, March 9 (Xinhua) -- The 8th edition of International Security and Defense Exhibition was launched on Saturday in the Iraqi capital with participation of 102 foreign weapons production companies from 20 countries.
The opening ceremony was attended by Iraqi military commanders, and sponsored by Iraqi Army's Chief of Staff Othman al-Ghanimi.
"This exhibition is a confirmation that Iraq endeavors to open its doors in front of the international companies to invest in reconstruction of Iraq and development of its defensive capabilities," said al-Ghanimi, who delivered his speech on behalf of the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
"We confirm our willingness to build a strong and professional army that has advanced security systems which are capable of safeguarding its security and sovereignty," he added.
Lt. Gen. Jalil al-Rubaie, commander of Baghdad Operations Command, told Xinhua that "we consider this exhibition very important because we need to know about the latest developments of weapons industry."
"I believe that the best one who can evaluate a weapon is the one who use it, and we have defeated the extremist Islamic State and freed all our territories," al-Rubaie said.
"But the IS has not ended yet and we need cooperation from countries over the world," al-Rubaie added.
The four-day exhibition, held in Baghdad International Fair in the west-central part of the capital, showcases various products such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), missiles and different ground support equipment.
Representative of China North Industries Corp. which took part of the exhibition told Xinhua that the company has launched a variety of guided munition products this year to meet Iraq's security and counter-terrorism needs and hopes to further expand the Iraqi market.
The exhibition was aimed at promoting the improvement of the security situation in Iraq, particularly after the Iraqi authorities declared full liberation of all areas once seized by the IS militants late in 2017.
However, the IS remnants have since melted in urban areas or resorted to deserts and rugged areas as safe havens, carrying out guerilla attacks from time to time against security forces and civilians.