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Truck movement between Jordan, Iraq to return to normal in March

By Maram Kayed - Dec 16,2018 - Last updated at Dec 16,2018

Trucks are seen at the Karameh-Turaibil border crossing between Jordan and Iraq, which have not been allowed to enter since the border’s reopening, unloading their cargo at the border instead to be reloaded in Iraqi trucks (JT file photo)

AMMAN — Cargo trucks will be able to cross the Jordan-Iraq border once again starting March 2019, according to Mohammad Kheir Al Dawoud, president of the Jordan Truck Owners Association (JTOA).

Although the border has been opened and operational, truck shipments from Jordan bound for Iraq have not been allowed. Instead, the goods would be unloaded, moved to an Iraqi truck waiting on the other side of the border, and then delivered.

The goods-transferring method has been going on for well over a year, due to “safety precautions”, Dawoud said.

“The roads in Iraq were unsafe due to the threat from Daesh terrorists. We could not allow Jordanian trucks to experience that risk. Similarly, Jordan could not jeopardise bringing in terrorists by letting Iraqi trucks into the country,” he told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

Now that the situation in Iraq is “somewhat stable”, as put by JTOA’s president, the border will operate normally as of March next year.

In the next three months, roads to and from Iraq will undergo renovation in preparation for the flow of goods. In addition, truck drivers on both sides will need to obtain the necessary licences and passes for their trips during this time.

The JTOA says the decision would likely help lower the prices of goods, as the loading-unloading process requires extra workers and trucks as well as more time. Things, will run “more smoothly” when the decision goes into effect, as anticipated by Dawoud.

“We hope that we can import petrol from Iraq in the future, when things are more stable. For now, we will continue to exchange fruits and vegetables,” the sector leader concluded.

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