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Jordan border crossing with Iraq opens in major boost to ties

Jordan border crossing with Iraq opens in major boost to ties

 

BAGHDAD: Jordan officially opened its main border crossing with Iraq on Wednesday (August 30) for the first time since 2015, now that Iraqi forces have gained control of the main highway to Baghdad from Islamic State (ISIS) militants, both governments said.

“It is very important, this is a sign for peace,” said Mohammed al-Halboosi, the Mayor of Anbar Province.” “The border was closed when ISIS (Islamic State) enter our province and our country, now we are with the Jordan government, open the border again, that means this is a letter for peace all of the world.”

“We will do our best to start the movement of vehicles and traveling between Iraq and Jordan,” he added.

Iraqi troops pulled out of the Tureibil post, on the 180 km (110 mile) border, in the summer of 2014 after the militants secured nearly all the official crossings of the western frontier as they swept through a third of the country.

Commercial traffic continued for a year after until Iraq launched an offensive in July 2015 to reclaim the predominately Sunni Anbar province and deprive the militants of funds raised from truck drivers forced to pay a tax on cargo coming in from Jordan.

Officials have said that customs and border arrangements have been finalized, with security measures in place to ensure the 550 km highway from the border to Baghdad was safe.