‘Iraq refuses passage of Jordanian trucks to Turkey’
Reported by JT | Dec 25,2011 | 23:14
A boy passes by queuing trucks in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone in south Jordan in this file photo. Iraq has refused to allow passage of Jordanian trucks heading for Turkey through its territorie
AMMAN — Iraq has refused to allow passage of Jordanian trucks heading for Turkey through its territories, citing concerns that such a move would have negative effects on the Syrian people.
Salam Quraishi, an economic adviser to the Iraqi government, said on Saturday that using Iraq as an alternative transit route to Turkey is a means to place pressure on the Syrian regime, but the Syrian people will be ultimately affected by its consequences.
The Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted Quraishi as saying that the issue is more political than economic. He added that Iraq does not want to take part in any “projects that would affect the Syrian economy during this critical stage of Syria’s history”.
Earlier this month, Jordan requested that Baghdad allow Jordanian cargo trucks entry to Iraq to avoid the turbulence witnessed in Syria.
Petra quoted Transport Ministry Secretary General Laith Dababneh as saying that no official response has been received yet from the Iraqi side, who promised during talks in Baghdad last week to study Jordan’s request and prepare a safe passage for the trucks into Turkey within a month.
In previous remarks to The Jordan Times, Mohammad Dawood, president of the Jordan Truck Owners Association, said Jordanian trucks carrying vegetables and other goods to Turkey and Europe have “rarely” travelled recently through Syria due to the ongoing instability.
He added that although Syrian authorities are not banning the entry of Jordanian cargo trucks through their land, owners and drivers are reluctant to enter the violence-hit country.
Dawood indicated that before the current unrest, between 200-300 cargo trucks used to cross the border with Syria every day, carrying various goods to Turkish and European markets, adding that only a few trucks currently go to Syria, although there have been no reports that drivers have experienced trouble in the Syrian territories.
Jordan will play for gold when they meet Bahrain in the football competition at the Pan-Arab Games in Doha on Friday. Full story