Iran-Iraq trade to be resumed after borders reopen

July 10, 2020 - 14:40

TEHRAN – Iran, and Iraq are going to resume trade exchanges through Mandali and Shalamcheh borders following the reopening of the mentioned crossings from the Iraqi side, IRNA reported, quoting an official with Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO).

“The Iraqi government has agreed to reopen the Shalamcheh and Mandali borders after the joint trade borders with the Kurdistan Region were reopened earlier,” Farzad Piltan, the director-general of TPO’s Office of Arabian and African Countries, said.

Following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, all trade borders between Iran and Iraq were closed, however with the partial control of the pandemic’s first wave, trade borders between the two countries were gradually reopened, Piltan said.

According to the official, trade from the mentioned border crossings is going to be carried out in accordance with international health and safety protocols.

Noting that declining trade with Iraq would hurt both sides, Pilten added: "Diplomatic efforts and negotiations with Iraqi officials led the Iraqi government to agree to the limited reopening of borders in Shalamcheh, and Somar, and the process of exporting from these borders will begin soon.”

He expressed hope that with the reopening of all trade borders with Iraq, the trade between the two countries will return to normal and will continue to grow.

Head of Iraq's Border Crossing Authority, Omar al-Waeli had announced on Monday that the country's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi agreed to resume partial trade in the Mandali and Shalamcheh border markets with Iran.

"According to this decision, 250 shipments from Iran will enter Iraq for two days a week through the Shalamcheh border in Basra and Mandali border in Diyala province," al-Waeli said.

Head of Iraq's Border Crossing Authority said: "Only the exchange of goods is allowed and the entry of passengers into the border crossings for any reason is prevented."

In mid-March, the Iraqi Border Crossing Authority closed border crossings with Iran and its neighbors to prevent the coronavirus outbreak.

The trade volume between the two countries is estimated at $10 billion a year.

EF/MA

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