Minister: Iraq to Give Jordan $300m Worth of Oil
Iraq is to give Jordan oil worth 300 million dollars under their trade agreements for 2001, Iraqi Commerce Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said Saturday.
The minister, quoted in newspapers, said it was "a gift from President Saddam Hussein to the Jordanian people" following a three-day visit by Jordan's Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb that wound up with the signing of the accords on Friday.
Iraq is to supply its neighbor with four million tons of crude and one million tons of oil products in 2001, covering all of Jordan's needs, according to Abu Ragheb.
The arrangement for 2000 provides for a total of 4.8 million tons of Iraqi oil to be delivered to Jordan, half of the amount for free and the rest at discounted prices.
The Jordanian prime minister said a pricing formula had been agreed for next year with a ceiling of 20 dollars a barrel.
The two countries on Friday also signed an accord to build a 750-kilometer (470-mile) pipeline at a cost of 350 million dollars to replace the tanker trucks, which currently deliver the crude.
And they agreed to increase Jordanian exports to Iraq to 450 million dollars, a 50-percent rise over this year's level, Iraqi newspapers said, adding that two-way trade would amount to more than one billion dollars.
Abu Ragheb, the highest-ranking Arab official to visit Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War, on Friday put the figure on Jordanian exports for next year at 400 million dollars.
Jordan imports Iraqi oil under a UN exemption to sanctions in force since Iraqi force invaded Kuwait in 1990. The bulk of Iraq's oil exports are carried out under a UN humanitarian program to finance imports of essential goods – BAGHDAD (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)