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EDITIONS
Friday, 22 November, 2002, 12:41 GMT
Iraq and Jordan sign oil deal
Iraqi Oil Minister Aamer Mohamed Rashid walks with Jordanian Energy Minister Mohamed al-Bataina
Iraqi radio said the deal was a sign of Jordan's support
Iraq and Jordan have signed an agreement which should safeguard all of Jordan's crude oil and oil product needs, according to broadcasting media in both countries.

Iraqi Oil Minister Aamer Mohamed Rashid, right, shakes hands with Jordanian Energy Minister Mohamed al-Bataina
Jordan's oil requirements should be met by the deal
From next year, crude oil will be transported in an oil pipeline from the Iraqi border to a refinery in Jordan, Channel 1 in Jordan said.

And eventually, refined products will be sent back to Iraq as part of the two countries' "technical cooperation" agreement, according to the TV report.

Jordan and Iraq also aim to work on joint geological and oil studies, Channel 1 said.

Broad agreement

Iraq's oil minister, Amid Muhammad Rashid, and Jordan's energy minister, Muhammad al-Bataina, signed the oil agreement on Thursday.

The two countries described the deal as an expression of their "willingness and eagerness to develop and boost commercial and economic co-operation", according to Channel 1.

Iraq and Jordan "agreed to establish joint ventures in the industrial, trade, agricultural and services fields in order to encourage investment in both countries", Republic of Iraq Radio reported.

It said that in addition, trade fairs and markets would be organised in both countries, and a trade protocol should be raised to $310m (196m).

Political backing

The Iraqi radio report saw Jordan's signature as a sign of broader political support and insisted that it stressed "Jordan's rejection of the aggressive threats against Iraq and reiterated the call for respecting Iraq's sovereignty, territorial integrity and regional security".

"By signing the minutes [of the Iraqi-Jordanian committee meeting], Jordan also underscores the need to lift the unjust embargo on Iraq as soon as possible," Republic of Iraq Radio said.


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