Iraq confirms free trade agreement with Syria
The Iraqi cabinet Thursday ratified a free trade agreement signed the day before between Iraq and Syria, the official Iraqi news agency INA said.
At a meeting chaired by President Saddam Hussein, the cabinet said it was "satisfied with the positive results of Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan's visit to Syria," during which the agreement was reached.
Ramadan said Wednesday in Baghdad that the trade agreement was "an essential step on the road to Arab economic unity and the setting up of an Arab common market."
Iraq signed a similar agreement January 18 with Egypt and is hoping to reach a similar deal with Jordan.
Syria and Iraq, governed by rival branches of the Baath party, began to restore relations in 1997. They broke off diplomatic ties in 1980 when Damascus supported Tehran in the Iran-Iraq war. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)