Tags: Iraq | Seeks | Unification | With | Neighbors

Iraq Seeks Unification With Neighbors

Monday, 20 November 2000 12:00 AM

Aziz told Lebanon's As Safir newspaper that it was time for achieving "economic unification" among Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

"Circumstances are appropriate to achieve such a unification, especially amid the many incentives to reach rapprochement among the Arab countries, the joint mutual benefits and the absence of political obstacles," he said.

He referred to Turkey, which "is keen to maintain close economic ties with Iraq, whereby trade exchange between the two countries reach $1 billion," despite their "numerous political differences and the fact that Western warplanes take off daily from Turkish bases to bombard Iraq."

Aziz noted that Iraq's relations with Syria had improved during the past few years and said that resuming the pumping of Iraqi oil via Syrian territories "is a matter of days." He emphasized the importance of "improving economic and political ties between Syria and Iraq," referring to "wide horizons for especially economic dealings."

As for Jordan, Iraq offers oil assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars and he said it was ready for the same deal with Lebanon "as Iraq needs goods and services that Lebanon offers while Lebanon needs oil that Iraq possesses."

He said the U.N. embargo on Iraq began to fall down despite U.S. objections "because we have good ties with various countries in the world and most Europeans come to us for establishing economic relations."

On the continued clashes between Israeli forces and the Palestians in the occupied territories, Aziz said "explosion is likely in the region and the confrontations will not be limited to the neighborhoods of Jerusalem and the cities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

"This is natural and Iraq have a role in this as it cannot stand idle before Israeli aggression against the Arabs," he said. "Iraq is in the heart of the struggle with the Zionist enemy and is paying now the price of its stand against Israel."

Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Aziz told Lebanon's As Safir newspaper that it was time for achieving economic unification among Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Circumstances are appropriate to achieve such a unification, especially amid the many incentives to reach rapprochement among the Arab...
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Monday, 20 November 2000 12:00 AM
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