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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King, Iraqi PM discuss ties, regional issues
Amman, 24 December 2012

His Majesty King Abdullah on Monday stressed his full support for the Iraqi people in their efforts to establish peace and stability in their country.

King Abdullah said security and stability in Iraq is the mainstay of peace and stability in the region.

During a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, attended by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein and Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, followed by another meeting that included senior officials from both countries, talks focused on the need to take practical and effective steps to develop bilateral ties in various fields.

His Majesty stressed that Jordan supports all efforts to enhance national consensus and unity among the Iraqi people and to help them engage in their country's political process to achieve their aspirations for a better future.

Discussions also covered means to boost cooperation and coordination between Jordan and Iraq regarding Arab and regional issues of mutual concern, and prospects of enhancing joint Arab work in dealing with current challenges.

In addition, the King and Maliki discussed regional developments, particularly efforts to achieve comprehensive and just peace that guarantees recognising the Palestinian people's right to freedom and independence.

Talks also focused on developments in Syria as well as a number of regional issues.

For his part, Maliki voiced his appreciation for His Majesty’s positions in supporting peace and stability in Iraq, stressing his keenness to develop cooperation with Jordan, particularly in the economic, trade and investment sectors.

He also commended Jordan's efforts to achieve security and stability in the region and endeavours to serve Arab issues.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Ensour and Maliki signed the minutes of the Joint Jordanian-Iraqi Higher Committee meetings, which highlighted means to foster cooperation in several areas, including trade, transport, energy and investment.

During the committee meetings, attended by several Jordanian and Iraqi officials, the Iraqi side agreed to increase the amounts of heavy fuel exported to Jordan to 60,000 tonnes instead of 30,000 tonnes monthly and at the same agreed-on prices.

The two sides also agreed to expedite procedures to extend an Iraqi oil pipeline to facilitate the export of Iraqi oil through Aqaba Port.

With regard to financial matters, the two sides agreed on dealing with the Iraq's debt to Jordan in line with the two countries’ joint interests.

Discussions also addressed the issue of Jordanian detainees and prisoners in Iraqi jails.

Furthermore, representatives of the two countries agreed on granting six-month multiple entry visas to drivers of trucks and vehicles transporting passengers and cargo between Iraq and Jordan.

It was also agreed that the next Joint Jordanian-Iraqi Higher Committee meeting will be held in the first half of 2013 in Baghdad.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Maliki, Ensour highlighted the importance of the Iraqi prime minister's visit to the Kingdom, noting that the joint committee last met two years ago.

"We need each other; Jordan is important for Iraq in trade… and at the same time, we need the Iraqi market as a target and a route to access Turkish and European markets," Ensour told reporters.

The premier stressed that Iraq presents the alternative that will help Jordan's trade, which has suffered since the onset of the Syrian crisis, noting that the Iraqi market is open for local agricultural produce so long as it does not harm Iraqi farmers.

Maliki commended the positive atmosphere that surrounded the talks, highlighting the productivity of the meetings despite the short time.