Egypt, Jordan, Iraq FMs review trilateral projects in Cairo meeting

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 15 Aug 2023

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq reviewed their trilateral cooperation and strategic integration projects in a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, according to a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq hold a trilateral meeting to discuss joint strategic projects, 15 August 2023. Egyptian MFA

 

Sameh Shoukry (Egypt), Ayman Safadi (Jordan), and Fuad Hussein (Iraq) represented their respective countries in the meeting, which is part of the trilateral cooperation mechanism between their states.

The ministers agreed to hold a follow-up meeting on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in September in New York.

The Egypt-Jordan-Iraq mechanism constitutes an “important platform for joint efforts aimed at strengthening the economic cooperation mechanisms between the three countries in various fields,” the ministry affirmed.

The trilateral mechanism also enables the three countries to coordinate on various regional and international issues of mutual concern in order to preserve Arab unity and regional security and stability, the ministry added.

The trilateral mechanism has been in place since 2019.

Trilateral cooperation
 

Egypt, Iraq and Jordan are working to implement a number of joint strategic development projects, including a mega power linkage project.

The first 400 MW phase of the project will link Jordan with Iraq, while the second phase will extend the connection to Egypt and increase the power capacity, 

The first phase of the project is 85 percent complete and is set to start operation this year.

Egypt already has a 550 MW power link with Jordan and work is underway to boost its capacity to 2-3 GW to reach Iraq.

In addition, the three countries said they are also working on setting up an industrial city on the Iraqi-Jordanian border.

Also, Jordan and Iraq have been preparing to build the Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline linking the two countries, which will cost $7-9 billion according to Iraqi estimates.

In June 2022, Jordan’s FM Safadi stressed Egypt will also benefit from the project.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil said the expansion of the project to Egypt will be an important new pipeline for Iraqi oil exports to North Africa.

Iraq has previously revealed talks to establish a logistical zone on the Iraqi-Jordanian border to facilitate the flow of goods and commodities, saying that Egypt can benefit from this zone by providing Egyptian goods to the Iraqi markets.

Arab liaison committee on Syria
 

The trilateral mechanism meeting came on the sidelines of Cairo’s hosting of the meeting of the Arab liaison committee formed in May to follow up with the Syrian government to find a solution to the longstanding crisis in Syria.

The committee, comprising Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, and the Arab League’s secretary-general, was announced as the Arab League reinstated Syria in May, ending a 12-year suspension.

Later in May, Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad attended an Arab League summit in Jeddah for the first time since 2010, during which he called for a new era of Arab cooperation

Also on Tuesday, Shoukry met with Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Faisal Mekdad who arrived in Cairo to participate in the liaison committee meeting.

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