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Jordan urges reopening of Iraq border, expediting pipeline project

Jordan urges reopening of Iraq border, expediting pipeline project

AMMAN: Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi on Thursday urged Iraq to expedite efforts to reopen Amman-Baghdad road and implement the planned Iraqi oil pipeline.

He also called for supporting the private sectors in the two countries to further develop trade relations and serve mutual interests.

At a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi, he congratulated him for liberating Mosul and the victory against terrorism, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

For his part, Abadi stressed his country’s keenness on developing cooperation in various fields, stressing Baghdad’s determination to reopen the highway and the Tureibil border crossing.

Abadi said his country was taking the necessary measures to reopen the highway as soon as possible, taking into consideration safety issues. During the meeting, the two officials discussed economic and trade cooperation, in addition to the situation in the region, Petra reported.

The discussions also covered progress in the implementation of agreements and memoranda that were signed between the two countries in March, especially the exemption of Jordanian goods from customs duty, according to Petra.   The security threat to the users of the international Amman-Baghdad road has prompted a border closure and, consequently, a halt in the transportation of merchandise to the eastern neighbour.

Both sides rely on the success of implementing the Basra-Aqaba twin pipeline project, as it would boost Iraq’s exports of oil and gas to the world markets and secure Jordan with a considerable source of income and energy. Safety of the pipeline has been cited as a major concern, at a time when Iraqi forces are fighting fierce battles to neutralise the threat of Daesh and other terrorist groups.

During a meeting with Iraqi President Fuad Massoum, Safadi congratulated Iraq for liberating Mosul and the victory that Iraq achieved over Daesh, which had took control of the northern city since 2014.

Massoum commended His Majesty King Abdullah’s support for Iraq and its security and stability, voicing his country’s willingness to boost ties and cooperation with the Kingdom at all levels, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

For his part, Safadi expressed Jordan’s keenness to take all procedures necessary to increase cooperation with Iraq, in a way that reflects the “deep-rooted and brotherly” relations between both countries and peoples.

The top diplomat said at his meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim Al Jaafari that Jordan deems the security of Iraq as a “pillar” of the region’s stability and supports an inclusive national reconciliation process in Iraq.