Iraq says it will boost imports from Syria, Jordan
Iraq has agreed with Syria and Jordan to increase annual imports from both nations, Commerce Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh said on Saturday, September 1. "We have agreed with Syria and Jordan to increase imports and bring them respectively to $1.5 billion and one billion dollars before the end of the year," he said, cited by the official INA1> news agency.
"The accords with Syria and Jordan were decided in line with our policy of strengthening cooperation with our Arab brothers," he said. Syria and Iraq froze diplomatic relations in 1980 over Syrian support for Iran in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, but have recently stepped up their economic rapprochement.
The two countries, now tied by a free trade agreement, currently have an estimated $500 million in bilateral trade. Meanwhile Jordan currently exports around $450 million of goods to Iraq as part of the UN oil-for-food program, which aims to lessen the effect of sanctions put in place over Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. –(AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)