Following a series of protracted negotiations, Iraq has agreed to lift its two-year-old import ban on Egyptian dairy products, Industry and Trade Minister Hatem Saleh announced Tuesday.
Saleh is currently in Baghdad as part of an Egyptian delegation headed by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.
In 2011, the Iraqi government issued a ban on the entry of all Egyptian dairy products into the local market due to perceived health risks related to foot-and-mouth disease, cases of which had been reported in Egypt.
Before the ban, Egyptian dairy exports to Iraq had been worth roughly $80 million a year.
According to Saleh, the decision was motivated by Egyptian dairy companies’ strict compliance with international health standards.
Qandil is currently visiting Iraq in hopes of boosting bilateral trade ties and mutual cooperation. Along with the trade minister, the Egyptian PM was accompanied on the mission by Egyptian ministers of electricity, petroleum and planning.