Arab countries account for half Iraq's external trade: minister
Iraq's Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said Monday, December 10 that Arab countries accounted for half of the sanctions-hit country's external trade under the UN oil-for-food program.
"Iraq's trade with Arab countries has reached $14.5 billion, or 50 percent of its external trade," since the humanitarian program was introduced in 1996, Saleh said, quoted by the official INA news agency. The minister said Egypt was the top Arab trading partner with $3.5 billion, followed by Jordan with $2.8 billion, the United Arab Emirates with $2.6 billion and Syria with $1.5 billion. Russia remained Iraq's largest trading partner with trade worth $5.5 billion, according to Saleh.
The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to sell crude under UN supervision to meet the humanitarian needs of its people, who have been hard hit by the sanctions imposed on the country since Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)