King Abdullah of Jordan visited Iraq on Monday to activate security agreements between the two countries and finalize an oil pipeline project from Basra to the port of Aqaba.
The king, on his first visit since 2008, was greeted by President Barham Salih on a red carpet at Baghdad airport before heading to meet Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. Salih welcomed the visit as strengthening “joint interests and security.”
The visit took place amid confusion in the region after the US administration’s decision to withdraw its troops from Syria and the escalation of US pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.
“Baghdad and Amman will be the basis for strengthening relations between Arab brothers and starting a serious and constructive dialogue to end the crises in the region,” Salih’s office said.
The king also had talks with parliamentary Speaker Mohammed Al-Halabousi and Ammar Al-Hakim, head of the Reform Coalition, one of the biggest parliamentary blocs.
Iraqi officials told Arab News the visit was aimed at activating economic and security agreements signed by Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz in Baghdad last month, including the pipeline.
“The Jordanians eagerly want the project of extending the oil pipeline from Basra to Aqaba as this will revive the port and it will bring great financial resources to Jordan,” a senior Iraqi official said.
© 2019 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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