Iraq wants to resume trade relations with Egypt by reopening an overland route which connects the two countries via Jordan, the Egyptian Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. The ministry said that Iraq’s Minister of Trade and Planning, Salman Jumaili, made the announcement during talks with his counterparts in Cairo.
Although there is no border between Egypt and Jordan, only the narrow head of the Gulf of Aqaba separates them. The Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry, Tarek Qabeel, said that the government is keen on increasing its economic relations with Iraq in this way. Talks have already started, he said, with an emphasis on the export of Egyptian goods to Iraq.
Jumaili stressed the importance of facilitating access between the two countries for businessmen, which will help to create partnerships in the private sector. He also pointed out that there are six million Iraqi tourists who visit neighbouring countries every year. The Iraqi minister added that his country needs the contribution that can be made by Egyptian companies in the reconstruction of Iraq.
An Iraqi political analyst explained that the overland route between Iraq and Egypt through Jordan was operational until 2014, when the “Islamic State” militant group seized the Iraqi province of Anbar near the border with Jordan. Salah Nasrawi told Anadolu news agency that there are new efforts between Baghdad and Cairo to reopen the land road subject to the security situation.