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Last Updated:[18-01-2011 07:32:37 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Turkey Backs Inclusion of Iraq in Regional Free Trade

tradenews The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during his recent visit to Iraq stated that his country wanted Iraq to be included in the regional free trade zone. Speaking at a meeting in Baghdad, Davutoglu said he was pleased over the developments in Iraq and underlined that, “we will be pleased to see inclusion of Iraq to a free trade zone among Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.”

The Turkish FM praised the progress of the political process in Iraq, and the transition to a new phase in result of political parties’ peaceful and democratic understanding over the new government. Referring to his talks with senior Iraqi officials, Davutoglu said the harmonization seen in Iraq created hope about the future.

In response, the newly elected Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said the contribution of regional countries, particularly Turkey, was necessary for improvement of Iraq in terms of economy and security. Turkey was impartial during Iraq government crisis, and could assume a very significant and important role in restoration of stability in the region, he added.

In a meeting with Prime Minister of Iraq Nuri Al Maliki, the Turkish FM called to expand co-operation between Baghdad and Ankara in all fields mainly on the economic level, and through the Strategic Cooperation Council. Davutoglu said that his upcoming visit to Damascus would also be utilized to discuss the inclusion of Iraq in regional free trade zone.

According to Anatolia News Agency, about $5bn worth of goods passed through Habur, one of Turkey’s border gates, alone. The trade between both countries is growing, and a regional trade zone would give more impetus to further economic activity in the region. Most of the exports that went through the border crossing to northern Iraq involved construction materials, but there were also significant amount of potatoes and onions involved among the merchandises.

By Jose Roy

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