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Jordan urges reopening of Iraq border, expediting pipeline project

Safadi meets with top Iraqi officials, vows more support

By JT - Aug 10,2017 - Last updated at Aug 10,2017

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (left) signs an agreement with his Iraqi peer, Ibrahim Al Jaafari, in Baghdad on Thursday (Petra photo)

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.

For his part, Jaafari commended Jordan’s efforts to bring about and sustain security and stability in the region.

At the end of the meeting, the two officials signed a memorandum of understanding stipulating political consultations between the two sides. 

At a press conference following the talks, Jaafari said his country hopes to see Jordan contribute to the Iraq rebuilding process after it has supported the country in its confrontation with Daesh.

Safadi reiterated that Jordan takes pride in its role at the forefront of the war against terrorism, fighting the phenomenon at the military, security and intellectual levels. The victory of Iraq in the battle for Mosul, he added, is part of this global war against “this evil”, vowing a consistent stand on the part of Amman to remain committed to this fight as a member of the international anti-terror coalition.

On the bilateral level, he told reporters that he discussed with his Iraqi peer the issue of the closed border crossing and the Amman-Baghdad road, saying that success in these two endeavours “will not only reflect positively on bilateral ties, but will also send a message that we have defeated terrorists and will never allow terrorists to shut down a road between two brotherly countries”.

He said the Kingdom is ready for the reopening and is equally willing to help in rebuilding Iraq. 

Earlier in the day, Safadi met with Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Salim Jabouri and expressed Jordan’s support for Iraq in all fields, mainly in its fight against terrorism.

Jordan has always been keen on supporting Iraq at the security, developmental and political levels, the minister said.

He added that supporting Iraq in its war against terrorism stems from His Majesty’s conviction that the fight against terrorism is a global responsibility as all are targeted by the threat.

 

Jabouri thanked Jordan for “standing always by Iraq in its war against terrorist groups”, highlighting coordination between the parliaments of the two countries in the international arena.

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