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A visit of consequence

Jan 10,2017 - Last updated at Jan 10,2017

The visit of Prime Minister Hani Mulki and the accompanying delegation to Baghdad for talks with his Iraqi counterpart Haider Al Abadi and senior Iraqi officials on Monday contributes to opening new vistas for cooperation between the two countries.

During a press conference at the end of his talks in Baghdad, Mulki described his official talks with Abadi as a strategic breakthrough on many fronts, as it culminated in a series of strategic agreements on political, economic and security issues of mutual concern to both countries.

Mulki said 2017 will go down in history as a milestone in the relations between the two countries, cementing long-standing brotherly ties.

Among the long list of accords struck in Baghdad between the two sides is the agreement to go ahead full speed with the much-talked-about oil pipeline linking the Iraqi city Basra to Aqaba.

The shipment of Iraqi oil to Jordan and beyond is of strategic significance to both sides. On one hand, Iraq would have another secure outlet for its oil shipments and, on the other, Jordan would have a steady and stable access to oil and eventually gas from Iraqi refineries at favourable prices.

Another significant move is Baghdad’s promise to reopen the closed border post of Treibil, enabling the flow of goods between the two countries.

Until Treibil is ready for reopening, other border posts will become immediately available, helping the growing commercial activity between the two sides.

Of great importance is Iraq’s agreement to lower, or even cancel, all tariffs on Jordanian products entering Iraq. This should serve as a big boost to Jordan’s industrial and agricultural products, which for many years now could not be exported.

At political and security level, the two sides agreed to cooperate in earnest and lend support to each other in the fight of the common enemy and threat, Daesh.

This opening of a new page in relations between Amman and Baghdad is a blessing for the peoples of both countries. It is hoped it will contribute to improving overall inter-Arab relations, which could be farther cemented at the upcoming Arab summit in Amman.

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