Jordan decided to send a delegation to Tehran to discuss Iranian participation in a water project, as the two countries pledged to boost their commercial exchanges, an official source said.
Jordanian Trade Minister Wasef Azar, meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohamad Shariatmadari, said a Jordanian team would soon go to Tehran "to look at Iranian participation" in pumping water from the underground basin at Disi in the south of the kingdom.
Shariatmadari said he hoped Jordan would "decide quickly on Iranian participation in this project." The Iranian minister was in Amman with parliament speaker Mehdi Karubi, the highest-ranking Iranian official to visit Jordan since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
The Iranian and Jordanian trade ministers also looked at "ways to encourage joint investments and increase bilateral exchanges, which did not go over 13 million Jordanian dinars ($18 million) in 2000."
They also stressed the need to sign agreements to prevent double taxation and promote joint investments.
In the project, Jordan is hoping to pump water from 82 wells in the Disi desert to Amman, bringing 100 million cubic meters (3.5 billion cubic feet) of water to the capital annually for 30 years. The severely parched kingdom has also sought help from Libya for the project, estimated to cost $650 million.
Tehran has said it is ready to contribute to the water project in exchange for phosphates and potash from Jordan. — (AFP, Amman)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )