Iraq's Foreign Minister
Mohamed Ali al-Hakim on Friday discussed with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman al-Safadi
the latest developments concerning bilateral relations between Baghdad and
In a phone call, the two ministers discussed the regional and international issues of mutual concern, and affirmed the importance of coordination and bilateral consultation in all matters of mutual interest to both countries," a statement by Iraq's foreign ministry said.
Iraq and Jordan in February agreed a deal over the trade of oil and commodities at a meeting between the two prime ministers on the Iraqi-Jordanian border.
Under the deal, Iraq would sell 10,000 barrels per day of oil to Jordan at a special 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.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi, who said on Tuesday the deal was close to being reached, finalized the agreement in a meeting with his Jordanian counterpart Omar Razzaz.
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.
Abd al-Mahdi said 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.
Tarbil Border crossing
The opening of the Tarbil border crossing between Iraq and Jordan over the weekend has stirred debate in Baghdad over the purpose of the agreement.
Iraqi MP Abdullah al-Khraybit said in press remarks that the deal offers more job opportunities for the residents of Anbar and will help the fight against terrorism.
“The fight needed such bold decisions,” he remarked.
The deal will also see Jordan increase its security cooperation with Iraq and dedicate intelligence efforts to securing the eastern borders, he said.