Jordan, Iraq agree on mechanisms to increase trade exchange — minister

AMMAN — Jordan and Iraq on Sunday announced an agreement to allow Jordanian cargo trucks to cross the border into Iraq. Jordanian trucks bound for Iraq have not been allowed to cross the Karama Border Crossing with Iraq due to security concerns. Instead, the goods would be unloaded once the trucks arrived, moved to an Iraqi truck waiting on the other side of the border, and then delivered. Minister of Agriculture Ibrahim Shahahdeh said the agreement on the new shipping mechanism was reached during a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Khalid Hassani in Baghdad, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. The Karamah crossing, 331km from Amman, is the only border crossing between Jordan and Iraq. Mohammad Dawood, president of the Jordan Truck Owners Association, said in previous remarks to The Jordan Times that the prior shipping method has been going on for well over a year due to safety precautions, describing the procedure as “costly and time-consuming”. Shahahdeh added that agreements were also reached with the Iraqi side to increase the trade exchange and put in place a timetable for the flow of agricultural products between the two countries, Petra reported. His Majesty King Abdullah paid a visit to Baghdad on January 14, where he held talks with Iraqi President Barham Saleh and senior officials on bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in all fields.