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|Wednesday, May 09, 2001, updated at 08:16(GMT+8)|
Jordan to Resume Flights to Iraq Next Month: MinisterJordan will resume civil flights to Iraq early next month, visiting Jordanian Minister of Trade and Industry Wasif Azar said on Tuesday.
"Jordan will resume civil flights to Iraq at the beginning of next month to enhance bilateral relations," Azar told the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) at the end of a three-day visit to the sanctions-stricken country.
He said that during the visit, he discussed with Iraqi officials ways of promoting bilateral relations, especially trade ties.
Jordan, whose trade volume with Iraq under the UN oil-for-food program has surpassed 2 billion US dollars, ranks the second largest trade partner of Iraq in the Arab world, the INA said.
The UN oil-for-food deal allows Iraq to export oil and use part of the proceeds to buy food, medicine and other basic necessities to offset the impacts of the UN sanctions imposed on Baghdad following its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
The US, the major force behind the continuation of the sanctions, has insisted that the sanctions apply to an air embargo and all flights to or from Iraq get prior permission from the UN Sanctions Committee.
Jordan has dispatched a number of flights to Iraq for humanitarian purpose since last August, and has also appealed to the UN to resume regular civil flights to Iraq.
Moreover, a Royal Jordanian airplane made a commercial flight to Iraq last December, the first ever in more than 10 years.
Iraq has argued that the sanctions do not prohibit civil flights from going to and out of the country, claiming that the so-called air embargo was unilaterally imposed by the U.S. and its allies.
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