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Iraq-Jordan oil, tariffs deal unacceptable: MPs

By Rudaw 3/2/2019
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (R) and his Jordanian counterpart Omar Razzaz meet at the Trebil border point on February 2, 2019. AFP Photo
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (R) and his Jordanian counterpart Omar Razzaz meet at the Trebil border point on February 2, 2019. AFP Photo
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A powerful Shiite coalition in the Iraqi parliament has condemned a government decision to lift tariffs on imports from Jordan and oil sales to the neighboring country at reduced prices as “unacceptable”.

“I am surprised that the Iraqi government has exempted Jordanian goods entering Iraq from customs duties," Mansour al-Baiji of the Shiite Bina Coalition told Rudaw. “It is dangerous and unacceptable.”

Baghdad and Amman agreed on Saturday on lifting tariffs on imports from Jordan as well as the transportation of 10,000 barrels of oil per day from Kirkuk to the Hashemite Kingdom.

The agreement was signed at the border by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi and his Jordanian counterpart Omar Razzaz.

In return, Iraqi goods imported via Jordan’s Aqaba port on the Red Sea would meanwhile receive preferential tariffs, according to Reuters.

Iraqi MP Al-Baiji claimed that only Jordan benefits from the deal.

“The Iraqi government has made a decision that the House of Representatives cannot accept such as the extension of an oil pipeline to Jordan.” Al-Baiji said.

“What is the significance and benefit of such decisions?” he asked. “Only Jordan will benefit from it.”

Al-Baiji said that his bloc will raise the issue in the parliament. “We’ll stand against these decisions that will harm the Iraqi people.”

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