Negotiations are currently underway between Iraq and Qatar on establishing a sea link, the Iraqi Al-Jumhuriya newspaper reported Wednesday.
Iraq's deputy minister for transport, Sabri Kateh, has recently examined with the head of the Qatari firm Al-Jazeera, Jassem bin Nasser al-Thani, means of "opening a sea link from next month", the paper said.
"Iraqi ports are ready to welcome Qatari ships and offer them all necessary services," the paper said.
Bahrain established a sea link with Iraq last December and launched a high-speed ferry in August capable of carrying 84 vehicles between the island state and six Gulf cities.
The 585-passenger Tylos offers a scheduled service from Bahrain to the two Iranian port cities of Bushehr and Bandar Abbas, the southern Iraqi port city of Umm Qasr, Kuwait City, Doha and Dubai.
Most of the passengers visiting Iraq are pilgrims going to the holy Shiite sites in southern Iraq or businessmen trying to win contracts under the UN-supervised oil-for-food programme. – (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )