Syrian President Bashar aA-Assad promulgated a law Saturday on the free trade agreement signed with Iraq in January, the official SANA agency reported.
The deal signed in Damascus on January 31 by Syrian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa Miro and Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan will abolish customs barriers and imports licenses between the two countries.
Miro said at the time that the accord was the first step towards a form of cooperation enabling Arabs to "face the challenges of globalization".
The countries' bilateral trade is currently worth $500 million, and is nearly all one-way — from Syria to Iraq. Syria and Iraq, governed by rival branches of the Baath party, started to restore ties in 1997. They broke off diplomatic relations in 1980 when Damascus supported Tehran in the Iran-Iraq war.
Iraq has also signed a similar agreement with Egypt since January and is on the verge of reaching a free trade deal with Jordan. — (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)