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Jordan, Iraq poised to take ties to next level


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Jordan on Thursday expressed keenness to enhance cooperation with Iraq to forge a strategic partnership that can serve the best interests of both countries.
During a meeting with an Iraqi parliamentary delegation, headed by MP Kathem Hamami, chair of the services and construction committee at the Iraqi Council of Representatives, Acting Prime Minister Rajai Muasher highlighted the “deep-rooted, historical and brotherly relations” between Amman and Baghdad.
Talks during the meeting reviewed means for Iraq to benefit from Jordanian ports in Aqaba, a distinguished geographical location that provides qualitative facilities and easy access to various economic destinations in the world, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 
For their part, Iraqi lawmakers praised the level of cooperation with Jordan that enable the furtherance of bilateral partnerships in various fields.
Also on Thursday, Industry, Trade and Supply Minister Tareq Hammouri met the Iraqi MPs over means of further enhancing cooperation and tackling obstacles hindering the implementation of Jordanian-Iraqi agreements and joint projects, according to Petra.
The two sides highlighted the importance of carrying out periodic review of the implementation of the recent agreements to find remedial measures to any difficulties that may crop up. 
The joint meetings over the past few days addressed the workflows in all fields, Hammouri said, noting that the Jordanian-Iraqi agreements are a “marvellous economic opportunity” for the two sides, Petra, reported.
“We believe in joint cooperation and coordination to overcome the economic challenges which have contributed in slowdowns in the two countries growth rates,” the minister said.
Hamami stressed the importance of advancing joint cooperation in various areas, mainly economy and trade, affirming mutual willingness to bolster joint relations and clearing all obstructions, especially those related to the joint Jordanian-Iraqi economic zone and transportation through Karameh-Turaibil border crossing. 
The Karamah crossing, 331km from Amman, is the only border crossing between Jordan and Iraq.
In early February, Jordan and Iraq signed several agreements that govern their cooperation in various fields, including a deal under which Baghdad would supply the former with 10,000 barrels of Kirkuk oil daily, as the door-to-door freight shipping process began.
The newly signed agreements include activating the 2017 Iraqi Cabinet decision to exempt a list of Jordanian products from customs fees, which are either not produced in Iraq or their production does not cover the need of the Iraqi market.
The Kingdom has also granted facilities to Iraqi goods imported through the Aqaba Port, offering discounted port rates of up to 75 per cent.

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