Lebanon and Iraq recently signed a free trade agreement (FTA) aimed at boosting bilateral economic cooperation, reported the official Iraqi news agency. Paired with the FTA was Iraq’s decision to export approximately 150,000 to 200,000 barrels of oil to Lebanon per month at a reduced price.
According to Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, the new cooperation accords comply with the United Nation (UN)’s resolutions imposed on Iraq, who has been under sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The Oil-for-Food Program launched in 1996 allows Iraq to sell some of its oil to buy food, medicines and other essentials to offset the impact of the sanctions.
Lebanon broke off diplomatic relations with Iraq in 1994 after the assassination in Beirut of an Iraqi opposition leader. Dialogue between the two states resumed in March 2001 but only at the level of charge d'affaires. Before the international sanctions on Iraq, Baghdad was the main buyer of Lebanese products and Lebanon was the prime destination of Iraqi tourists and businessmen. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )