Iraq and Jordan reopen border crossing, boosting relations

BAGHDAD: Iraq and Jordan have inaugurated a joint industrial area on the border between the neighboring countries.
The ceremony on the Iraq-Jordan border was attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and his Jordanian counterpart Omar Razzaz.
Saturday’s meeting was also attended by top officials as the former neighbors boost their relations following the defeat of Daesh that controlled areas in Iraq bordering Jordan. The border crossing was formally reopened on Saturday.

Trade deal
As part of the agreement between the two countries that was signed in late December, Iraq will supply Jordan with 10,000 barrels of oil a day at a lower price, transported by tanker from its Kirkuk oilfields, the Jordanian prime minister’s office said in a statement. It did not say what the price was or when the oil would be exported.
Iraqi goods imported via Jordan’s Aqaba port on the Red Sea would meanwhile receive preferential tariffs, it said.
Abdul Mahdi’s office said Iraqi officials were handed 1,300 artifacts that Jordanian authorities confiscated from smugglers.
Aqaba port at the north end of the Red Sea has long been a major transit route for Iraqi imports and exports, and Amman has long relied on Iraqi crude to fuel its economy.
Razzaz’s office also said Jordan would begin to export electricity to Iraq within the next two years.
Abdul Mahdi says the government aims to decrease dependency on oil exports for state revenue. Oil exports from OPEC’s second-largest producer account for more than 95 percent of state revenues.

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