Jordan and Egypt pledge to improve ties with Baghdad

The US allies try to strengthen the position of Iraq’s prime minister against militias that hold great sway over politics in Baghdad

A handout photo of Four Seasons Hotel Amman in Jordan (Courtesy: Four Seasons Hotel Amman) *** Local Caption ***  wk22ja-tr-briefs-amman.jpeg

Jordan and Egypt pledged on Tuesday to strengthen ties with Iraq and support Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi in Baghdad as he tries to assert his authority.

Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh said that a summit between the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and Iraq will be soon convened to “deepen economic and trade co-operation between the three countries”.

Jordan and Cairo aim to build joint oil and gas projects with Iraq and remove obstacles to free trade, he said after meeting Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in Amman.

Mr Al Khasawneh said ties between the three countries will be “elevated to a new horizon”.

Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi sought to establish a political axis with Mr Kadhimi at a summit in Amman in August, three months after he took office.

Mr Madbouly said that Egypt hoped that trade volumes between Cairo, Baghdad and Jordan would double “after the coronavirus”.

"We were discussing today a number of important projects that the three leaders will, God willing, announce during their three-country summit," he told reporters.

Empty state coffers and street protests played a major role in convincing Iraq's Shiite militias, who have the backing of a majority in parliament, to accept Mr Al Kadhimi, a secular former intelligence chief supported by the US, as prime minister.

But the Iraqi economy has remained in significant trouble, forcing the government to devaluate the currency by at least 20 per cent in December as it sought billions of dollars in foreign borrowing.

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