Nov 17,2018 – JORDAN TIMES EDITORIAL
The state visit of Iraqi President Barham Saleh to Jordan on Thursday was, indeed, a big success, having joined His Majesty King Abdullah in extensive talks about how to restore the old traditional and warm relations between the two countries to their historical level after having been interrupted by the internal conflict in Iraq, including the US invasion and the waves of sectarian conflicts that followed.
There was naturally a lot to talk about between the King and the Iraqi president and what ensued was a comprehensive and extensive meeting of the minds between the two leaders on many fronts. The interruption of the once solid and fraternal relations between the two neighbouring Arab countries are now back again and on solid basis. It cannot be overstated that the interrupted brotherly relations between Baghdad and Amman was the exception to the rule and the return of the good old days is the rule.
Opening the border between the two countries entails not just the official opening, but also the restoration of the infrastructure associated with it, including the rehabilitation of the highway linking the two countries, which needs reconstruction and investment. The Amman-Baghdad Highway must regain the golden age that it once enjoyed and the two leaders were clearly on the same mind to do just that.
Other key economic projects were also tackled and agreed upon, especially the Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline, from which the two countries stand to gain a great deal. There are no more reasons to put that vital and strategic economic project on hold for much longer. Now is the time to implement it with no additional delays. Other joint economic projects are still in the pipeline, including the creation of a joint industrial zone at the border line between the two countries. Trade and commerce between Jordan and Iraq long for such a venture and the sooner this happens the better as it would be for increased trade and commerce between Jordan and Iraq.
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz also held talks with Iraqi President Saleh and both agreed that there is a lot that can and should be done to put Jordanian-Iraqi relations on a more promising road.
The splendors of the past on the bilateral relations between the two Arab countries could be back on track in the wake of the visit of the Iraqi leader. All that is needed is more follow-ups on the part of the two sides. As the saying goes, where is a will there is a way.