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Amman, Baghdad move closer, with oil pipeline at centre stage

By JT - Dec 26,2016 - Last updated at Dec 26,2016

AMMAN —  Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Yarub Qudah on Monday met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi in Baghdad, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Qudah presented a letter to Abadi from Prime Minister Hani Mulki relating to the development of closer ties between Jordan and Iraq, especially in the economic and commercial fields, in addition to reiterating Jordan's support for Iraq’s fight against Daesh. 

Qudah told Petra that the two-day visit will see discussion of the reopening of the Karameh/Tureibil border crossing, the activation of the free trade agreement signed by the two countries in 2009 and came into effect in 2013, as well as using Jordanian expertise to help establish industrial estates in Iraq.

The minister said that he also conveyed an invitation from Mulki to Abadi to attend the World Economic Forum scheduled to be held at the Dead Sea in May next year.

Qudah said that Mulki would also visit Iraq to discuss cooperation with the Iraqi government.

Qudah stressed that the visit included discussions of cooperation in various sectors and meetings with several Iraqi officials, notably the ministers of trade, finance, labour and industry, according to Petra.

Also on the agenda was the planned oil and gas pipeline from Iraq to Jordan, with a focus on accelerating the start of the project.

Qudah also asked Iraqi officials to exempt Jordanian goods from the 30 per cent customs duty. 

In response, Iraqi officials pledged to consider the request, Qudah added.

This was the latest in a number of high-level meetings between Jordanian and Iraqi officials. Earlier this month, His Majesty King Abdullah met with Iraqi Vice President Osama Al Nujaifi, Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Al Mutlaq and Parliament Speaker Salim Al Jabouri, and separately with Vice President Iyad Allawi.

The King highlighted the importance of working with Iraq to support its stability, unity and prosperity.

Also this month, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of State for Investment Affairs Jawad Anani met with Iraqi President Fouad Masoum and handed him a letter from King Abdullah, inviting him to participate in the Arab summit, to be hosted in Jordan in March 2017.

During that visit, Anani also discussed ways to advance relations with Iraq when he met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari in Baghdad.

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