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Jordanian trucks still awaiting green light to enter Iraq

By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 06,2018 - Last updated at Mar 06,2018

AMMAN — Around 80 Jordanian trucks laden with various types of commodities unload their freight at the Jordanian-Iraqi border every day, with the number expected to rise sharply soon, the Jordan Truck Owners Association said on Monday.

“Currently, there is back-to-back unloading at the borders, as Jordanian trucks are yet to be given the green light to reach their final destinations in Iraq. Jordanian trucks [now] unload their cargo, which are then loaded in Iraqi trucks,” Mohammad Dawood, president of the association, said on Monday.

Prior to the closure of the Iraqi border with Jordan in 2014 after Daesh seized control of a large part of western Iraq, around 600 trucks used to enter Iraq on a daily basis, according to Dawood.

Following the reopening of the Turaibil border crossing between Jordan and Iraq late 2017, Jordanian exports resumed.

However, the trade volume is still modest.

“Although there are about 80 trucks that transfer commodities to the Iraqi border every day currently, we are still unsatisfied,” he said. 

Trucks that head to the border crossing carry vegetables, steel, wood, industrial products and other commodities, Dawood told The Jordan Times on Monday.

He added that the Jordanian trucks are expected to be allowed in Iraq and reach their final destinations in neighbouring countries in the coming few weeks, which will increase the number of trucks operating on the trade route.

The truck fleet in Jordan comprises 21,000 vehicles, and the Iraqi market is one of the largest markets for the sector, he noted.

“Once Jordanian trucks are allowed in, I expect a great improvement, especially after years of losses due to the closure of the crossing,” he added.

Abdullah Aysar, a truck driver and a resident of Mafraq, expressed hope that Jordanian trucks will be allowed into the eastern neighbour as soon as possible.

“It is unfeasible that we only unload our cargo at the borders,” Aysar told The Jordan Times on Monday.

“The Iraqi route used to be one of the busiest routes for Jordanian trucks, and business was very good in the past before Daesh. We have suffered a lot over the past years and we hope that we will make up for the losses in the near future,” Aysar said.

Last year, Iraq awarded a contract to a security firm to secure the road connecting Baghdad to Turaibil, which was seen as a major step to resume trade.

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