Egypt, Jordan, Iraq close to completing power link project, setting up industrial city: FMs

Amr Kandil , Monday 6 Jun 2022

Egypt, Jordan and Iraq are close to completing a power link project between the three countries and setting up an industrial city on the Iraqi-Jordanian border, the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers said today.

From left, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry hold a joint press conference in Baghdad, 6 June 2022. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

By the beginning of 2023, Jordan is expected to supply Iraq with electricity after the required infrastructure is completed, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a joint press conference with his Egyptian and Iraqi counterparts in Baghdad.

This is part of a cooperation agreement signed between Jordan and Iraq in September 2020 where Jordan will supply Iraq with electricity by connecting their networks.

Egypt, which is more than 800 miles from Iraq, also plans to deliver electricity to Iraq via Jordan by linking their power grids.

“The project will bring power to Iraq from Egypt and Jordan and will enable expanding industrial activity [in Iraq],” Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said during the presser.

Industrial city, oil link

Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq will also work on setting up an industrial city on the Iraqi-Jordanian border, Safadi said during the presser, noting that the three countries have completed around 90 percent of the preparations required to launch the city.

“We are currently in the last phase of the process to start attracting industries and investments to [the industrial city],” Safadi added.

Also, Jordan and Iraq have completed 80 percent of the required preparations for implementing the oil pipeline project linking the two countries, Safadi said, noting that Egypt will also benefit from the project.

Trilateral cooperation amid challenges

During the presser, the ministers agreed on the need to enhance their relations within their trilateral cooperation mechanism, especially amid the challenges posed by the war in Ukraine.

The meeting between the three ministers today discussed the impact of the war in Ukraine on political and economic situations as well as on the prices of energy, including gas and oil, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said.

“Our message today is that there is a necessity and a need for cooperation to enhance our ability to face the multiple increasing challenges in our region,” Safadi said.

This includes the challenges linked to the Ukraine crisis and its impact on food security, energy, and the prices of commodities, as well as other regional challenges, Safadi explained.

The Jordanian FM said he agreed with Shoukry and Hussein on a step towards a “deeper institutionalisation" of their trilateral cooperation.

This includes establishing a mechanism that ensures continuous and effective follow-up of the achievements made within the framework of their trilateral cooperation mechanism, Safadi said.

The Iraqi FM said they discussed the future of their joint trilateral work to cooperate in building economic integration and confronting threats to food security.

Shoukry, for his part, said the three countries are fully convinced that they can confront the multiple challenges facing them through their cooperation and efforts to formulate a joint vision to deal with and overcome these challenges.

The ministers also discussed regional challenges including the Palestinian cause. Safadi said the ministers reiterated their support for the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights, especially their right in having an independent and sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Shoukry and Safadi started an official visit to Baghdad today to enhance the trilateral cooperation mechanism launched between the three countries over the past years and follow up on the achievements made in this regard.

Shoukry affirmed during the presser that the goal of launching the trilateral cooperation mechanism is supporting stability in Iraq and protecting its sovereignty after years of challenges.

During their visit, the two ministers also met with Iraqi President Barham SalihPrime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al-Halboosi.

Egypt, Iraq and Jordan have intensified their meetings over the past few years to address enhancing strategic relations and expanding trilateral cooperation in several fields, including energy, industry, agriculture, transport, food security, infrastructure and investment.

The leaders of the three countries have met four times in less than three years, the first of which was in Cairo in March 2019, to discuss implementing trilateral strategic projects.

During their latest summit in Baghdad in June last year, the three leaders pledged to reinforce coordination between their security and intelligence apparatuses in countering terrorism and cyber security.

They also laid special emphasis on ambitious plans to build a power grid, a gas network, an oil pipeline and a land route that would connect their three countries and facilitate their integration.

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