Jordan, Iraq agree steps to open border crossing, build oil pipeline

[29-12-2018 03:24 PM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Prime Minister Omar Razzaz and his Iraqi counterpart Adel Abdul-Mahdi held talks in Baghdad on Saturday on ways to cement "the brotherly and historical" relations and joint cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

A joint statement issued at the end of a one-on-one meeting between the two premiers and expanded talks attended by the delegation accompanying Razzaz on his Baghdad visit and top Iraq officials, said that the two sides discussed political, security and economic issues as well as "cooperation in the fields that best serve the interests of the Iraqi and Jordanian peoples".

It said that the two sides saw eye to eye on many of the key points regarding the various issues discussed, and agreed on steps to implement them according to specific timetables in a host of sectors, including transport, finance, industry and trade, energy, agriculture and communications and information technology.

These include reopening the Karama-Treibil border crossing to door-to-door transport, a 75% reduction in the fees levied on Iraq-bound goods imported via the Port of Aqaba and signing an agreement between Royal Jordanian and Iraqi Airways for joint cooperation in aviation training and air transport.

They also agreed to enforce a 2017 Iraqi cabinet decision exempting a number of Jordanian goods from customs, start work on procedures to set up a joint Jordanian-Iraqi industrial zone and form a joint technical, financial and legal committee to resolve outstanding financial issues.

In the energy sector, the two sides signed a memo of understanding for a direct electricity linkage between the two countries, and also agreed to finalize a framework agreement to build the Iraqi-Jordanian pipeline from the southern Iraqi city of Basra to Aqaba in the first quarter of 2019. The technical committee will agree on the details of transport and pricing of exported Iraqi oil to Jordan before Feb. 2, 2019.

The Iraqi prime minister said the talks were "extremely important to achieve a real outcome and make progress in the relationship between the two brotherly neighbouring countries".

"We are proud of our relations with Jordan and its dear people, and we consider His Majesty King Abdullah II a brother, a supporter and ally. We are pleased to see the Iraqi-Jordanian relations develop further to fulfil the aspirations of our people for our common security, stability and economic prosperity, and to overcome the hardships. We look with respect to the Jordanian role in strengthening security and defense, combating terrorism and supporting our military and security forces in the fields of training and capacity building, and look forward to expanding cooperation in these areas", added Abdul-Mahdi.

Razzaz said that his visit aimed to chart a new framework for a real partnership with Iraq, adding that His Majesty King Abdullah had directed his government to open the doors wide for cooperation with Iraq and "to offer what we can in all fields.

He also said terrorism is a common enemy, pledging that Jordan will not be a hotbed of any activity that harms Iraq's interests, security and stability and stressing the importance of Iraq's victory over terrorism in enhancing regional stability and defeating terrorists.

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