Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jordanian PM to arrive in in Baghdad to boost ties, increase oil imports

Baghdad, Dec. 30 (AKnews) - Jordan's Prime Minister Samir Rifai is expected to arrive in Baghdad Monday as part of an official visit to boost relations and increase oil imports from Iraq, according to a source at Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Office.jordan prime minister, Samir Rifai

Rifai is the second high-level Arab leader after Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, who earlier opened his country's consulate in Erbil city, to visit Baghdad after the formation of the new government.

Jordan is seeking to increase imports of 240 thousand barrels of crude oil from Iraq per month at 10,000 bpd which represents only 10% of the daily needs of Jordan.

"Rifai and Maliki will discuss ways to strengthen diplomatic cooperation between the two countries and raise the Iraqi oil exports to Jordan," the source who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media told AKnews.

Jordan and Iraq signed an agreement in 2006 under which Iraq exports oil to Jordan for two years. The agreement was extended in August 2008 to another three years with an increased discount of US$22 granted to Jordan from US$18 according to the previous agreement.

More over, expanding the role of Jordanian investment companies in the Iraqi reconstruction projects will be part of the discussions.

Mr Maliki visited Jordan on Oct. 17 heading a delegation from his political bloc in a tour to a number of countries in the region, including Iran, Egypt and Turkey where he discussed the government formation crisis.

Reported by Saman Dzayi