Iraq hosted the Egyptian and Jordanian Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad, agreeing on closer economic, military, and political coordination and hoping to demonstrate an “exceptional” example of cooperation between Middle Eastern countries.
Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hailed the trilateral meeting as “important”, outlining its topics of discussion as bolstering cooperation, strengthening “joint Arab work”, and widespread partnership across the political and economic board in a statement released on Sunday.
Iraqi foreign policy under Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s prime ministerial tenure has placed emphasis on cooperation and improved relations with neighboring countries – including Egypt and Jordan.
Iraq and Jordan signed an agreement in February 2019 through which Iraq would lift tariffs on Jordanian products, while Jordan would buy 10,000 barrels of oil per day from Iraq.
Discussion of greater cooperation between Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt took place in March of this year, when Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and Egyptian president Abdulfatah al-Sisi met in Cairo, agreeing on closer economic cooperation.
In July, Iraq’s Prime Minister suggested the extension of an oil pipeline to Jordan to allow Iraq to diversify its oil export outlets, and the connection of the national grids of all three countries.
The ministers held a joint press conference after Sunday’s meeting. Though all three emphasized widespread cooperation, they were tight-lipped on the specifics of their discussions.
“The closed-door meeting put forth a group of main bullet points, including trilateral cooperation in the political and security sectors. We also alluded to technical cooperation and its mechanism, now and in the future. In another section, we discussed Arab and regional issues,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim told reporters.
Mohammed Shukri, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, said that the three parties discussed challenges in common and prioritized a number of plans for cooperation in sectors including housing, energy, and trade, while his Jordanian counterpart added that the three countries wanted to present an “exceptional” example of cooperation between Middle Eastern countries.