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    31-Aug-2017

Jordan, Iraq celebrate reopening of border crossing

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Jordan and Iraq on Wednesday celebrated the reopening of the Turaibil border crossing between the two countries, since its closure in 2015 due to security conditions, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
 
Prime Minister Hani Mulki said that the reopening of the Turaibil crossing was the result of the continued cooperation between Jordan and Iraq and of their eagerness to "cement the brotherly ties between the two countries". 
 
He commended the Iraqi army for defeating the Daesh terrorist group in Anbar, Mosul and Tal Afar, which, he said, allowed the reopening of the vital crossing.
 
The prime minister expressed his hope that the reopening of the border would be an opportunity to promote bilateral trade and investment and called on the private sector in both countries to cooperate and benefit from this positive step (See stories on page 2).
 
In his speech during the celebration ceremony, Interior Minister Ghaleb Zu’bi conveyed the greetings of His Majesty King Abdullah to the Iraqi leadership and people and his Majesty’s wishes for further progress, prosperity and wellbeing of the Iraqi people. 
 
He stressed that the reopening of “this vital crossing is an expression of the will to counter and defeat terrorism, which is also an expression of our determination and shared desire to bring life back to Iraq”. 
 
Zu’bi emphasised Jordan’s keenness to stand by the eastern neighbour in its efforts to restore unity and stability to the country.
 
Iraqi Interior Minister Qassem Al Araji conveyed the greetings of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi, government, parliament and the Iraqi people to Jordan and its people “for their constant support”.
 
Araji praised the position of King Abdullah in supporting Iraq in its war against terrorism, which helped restore security on the border. 
 
Leaders of concerned business sectors hailed the long-awaited move.
 
President of the Jordanian Businessmen Association Hamdi Tabbaa praised the government’s efforts to reopen the crossing, stressing that this would contribute to reversing the recession, which resulted from the unstable political and security situation in the region.
 
He pointed out that the Iraqi market is a major destination for Jordanian exports and a priority for Jordanian industrialists and businessmen.
 
The trade exchange between Jordan and Iraq through land crossings has stopped completely since the summer of 2015 due to security concerns as terrorist groups posed a direct threat to truck drivers and shipments, dropping from JD915 million in 2014 to JD533 million and JD353 million during the years 2015 and 2016, respectively.
 
For their part, the representatives of the agricultural sector rejoiced over the border reopening, saying it came at the “right time” as farmers prepare their lands for winter crops, which are Iraq’s main agricultural imports from the Kingdom.
 
Exports of fruits and vegetables to Iraq have dropped by 70 per cent since the border closure, and the sector has been ailing since then, President of the Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruit and Vegetables Saadi Abu Hammad said.
 
“Closure of the borders inflicted hefty additional fees on exporters and producers as shipments used to be carried through Kuwait to reach Iraq. The reopening will help cut down the expenses and will also reduce the losses which farmers have incurred over the past two years,” said Zuhair Jweihan, vice president of the Jordan Exporters and Producers Society for Fruits and Vegetables.
 

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