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Preparations under way to reopen Iraq border crossing

By Mohammad Ghazal - Aug 20,2017 - Last updated at Aug 20,2017

AMMAN — The Turaibil border crossing between Jordan and Iraq will be reopened soon as preparations for the reopening  are in the final stages, according to a top Iraqi diplomat.

Iraq’s Interior Minister Qasem Aaraji visited the crossing border from the Iraqi side on Sunday to check on preparations to reopen the crossing and resume the flow of commodities and personnel between the two countries, Safia Al Souhail, Iraq’s ambassador to Jordan, told The Jordan Times Sunday.

“This is a very significant visit and part of measures to reopen the border crossing,” she said over the phone.

The decision on when to reopen the border will be decided by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi and Prime Minister Hani Mulki, she said, stressing that Iraq was keen on continued coordination with Jordan in this regard.

The ambassador added that Iraqi Defence Minister Erfan Al Hiyali discussed the reopening of the border crossing among other security issues with Major General Mahmoud Freihat, Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff.

In a statement Sunday, the Forwarders Association Owners Syndicate called on all its member companies to reopen their offices and conduct necessary maintenance to their facilities in preparation for the opening of the border crossing by the end of this month.

Iraq officially closed the Turaibil border crossing in mid-2015 after the terrorist Daesh group controlled some areas on the Iraqi side of the border.

The border closure has caused losses worth hundreds of millions for Jordanian industries and the land transport sector.

In April of this year, Iraq’s Cabinet awarded a tender to a security company to guard the main highway connecting Baghdad to the border crossing.

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