Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said Sunday his country was seeking to increase trade links with Jordan to speed up the process of setting up a free trade zone between the two countries, similar to that existing with Egypt and Syria.
Mehdi met with Jordanian Trade and Industry Minister Wassef Azar who arrived in Baghdad on Saturday with a delegation of 180 Jordanian industrialists, merchants and businessmen, the official INA agency reported.
Iraq was the main Arab market for Jordanian exports before the 1991 Gulf war. Relations between the two neighboring countries were bolstered when Jordan sent a humanitarian plane to Baghdad, becoming the first Arab country to defy a 10-year-old UN air ban imposed on Iraq.
In November Jordan's Ali Abu Ragheb was the first Arab head of government to fly to Iraq in a decade. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )