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PM stresses ongoing efforts for ‘new phase’ of Jordan-Iraq cooperation

By JT - Jul 18,2019 - Last updated at Jul 20,2019

AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Thursday reaffirmed the Jordanian-Iraqi strategic ties and expressed the Kingdom's keenness to bolster joint cooperation and serve the best interests of the two countries and peoples in all fields. 

Razzaz, during his meeting with Iraqi Minister of Interior Yassin Yasiri in Amman, highlighted the two governments' ongoing work to establish a new phase of joint cooperation and remove all obstacles hindering the implementation of the two leaderships' directives, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Referring to His Majesty King Abdullah's "historic" visit to Baghdad last year, as well as Iraqi President Barham Saleh's trip to Amman, the premier said that the political will and sincere desire to further the prospects of bilateral relations and integration is evident on both sides, particularly in the fields of economy and trade.

Reiterating the Kingdom’s support for Iraq, Razzaz said that “Jordan is like Iraq’s lung”, adding that Iraq’s security is an integral part of the Kingdom. 

He stressed the Jordanian and Iraqi interior ministries’ efforts to overcome security challenges and ease the movement of citizens, businesspeople and truck drivers between the two countries.

The meeting also reviewed the measures adopted by the Jordanian Embassy in Bagdad to ease visa protocols for Iraqis, according to Petra.

Yasiri said that he is on his first foreign trip since assuming his post, highlighting that this bears testament to Baghdad’s openness and keenness for further bilateral ties.

The minister also expressed his country’s commitment to the two countries’ joint strategic ventures, including the Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline project, which creates new export outlets for Iraq and supplies the Kingdom with some of its oil needs.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Salameh Hammad also met with his Iraqi counterpart and the accompanying delegation on Thursday to discuss countering terrorism and extremism, border security and easing movement between the two countries, combating drug trafficking and security cooperation.

Talks also covered means of enhancing trade exchange through the Karameh-Turaibil border crossing between Jordan and Iraq, along with issues related to the Iraqi community in Jordan, according to Petra.

During the meeting, Hammad confirmed that movement through the Karameh crossing has been going smoothly, noting however the need for reviewing a number of technical and administrative issues.

For his part, Public Security Department (PSD) Director Maj. Gen. Fadel Hmoud, who attended the meeting, expressed readiness to address any problems that may face Iraqi investors, referring to the PSD’s independent unit dedicated to providing protection to investors.

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