Iraq agrees to set up free-trade zone along border with Iran

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Iraqi President Barham Salih announced on Saturday that his country has agreed to establish a “free-trade zone” along its border with Iran, following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Al Jazeera reported.

In a joint press conference in Tehran, Salih declared that the relationship between the two neighboring countries is a “fixed principle” that is “rooted in shared history, faith and geography”.  “We care about our relationship with Iran,” Salih declared. He did not give full details about the free-trade zone.

Rouhani also said that trade ties between Iran and Iraq can increase from the current 12 billion dollars to 20 billion dollars. Iran is Iraq’s major trade partner after China.

Rouhani also said that the two leaders also talked about electricity and gas swap, as well as cooperation on petroleum products and oil exploration. According to reports, the two leaders have also discussed building a 35km railway linking the two countries.

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