Jordanian king in Iraq to finalize Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline

King Abdullah’s last trip to Iraq was in 2008, when he became the first Arab leader to visit Baghdad after strongman Saddam Hussein was toppled by the US-led invasion in 2003. (AFP)
Updated 15 January 2019
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Jordanian king in Iraq to finalize Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline

  • The visit is the latest in a string of top-level diplomatic encounters in Iraq in recent weeks
  • The two countries share a 179-kilometer border, and Jordan is a major importer of Iraqi crude oil

BAGHAD: 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.


If Tehran ‘wants to fight’ it will be ‘official end of Iran’: Trump

Updated 14 min 56 sec ago
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If Tehran ‘wants to fight’ it will be ‘official end of Iran’: Trump

  • His tweet comes as tensions continue to rise in the Middle East
  • Trump's stern warning added Iran should “never threaten the United States again”

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that if Tehran “wants to fight,” it will be the “official end of Iran.”

Trump's stern warning added Iran should “never threaten the United States again.”

His tweet comes as tensions continue to rise in the Middle East as the US and Iran come to blows over the Iranian regime’s activities, which the Trump administration see as a direct threat to US interests in the region.

Iran's foreign minister downplayed the prospect of a new war in the region on Saturday, saying Tehran opposed it and no party was under the “illusion” the Islamic republic could be confronted.

“We are certain... there will not be a war since neither we want a war nor does anyone have the illusion they can confront Iran in the region," Mohammad Javad Zarif told state-run IRNA at the end of a visit to China.

Iran-US relations hit a new low last year after US Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran.

(With agencies)