Published: 2019-01-31 12:19
Last Updated: 2019-01-31 15:08
A member of the Committee on Economy and Investment of the Iraqi parliament on Thursday, voiced his “concerns" to the committee of the agreement between Iraq and Jordan on the extension of the strategic oil pipeline from Basra to the port of Aqaba, describing it as "opaque" and that it will give Jordan financial benefit equivalent to half of its annual budget.
Iraqi MP Abdul Salam al-Maliki said to Iraqi media that "the oil pipeline extending from Basra to the port of Aqaba through a modern district with a length of one thousand and 700 kilometers, including two stations, station 52 and 42, two pumping stations in addition to three transformer stations," noting that “the executive side will be from Rumaila to Haditha at the expense of the Iraqi government and from Haditha to Aqaba will be on the Jordanian government."
"The amount of pumping towards the port of Aqaba from this pipeline up to one million barrels per day, Jordan will receive 100 thousand barrels daily supported by the Iraqi government, and we are afraid that the support as was the agreement between the former regime and Jordan through the sale of barrels of oil for only five dollars which is still in place until the moment,” pointing out that "Jordan is a neighboring country with brotherly ties to Iraq and we have a large trade exchange with them and there are common relations between the two countries."
He pointed out that "the strategic line will be in the first two phases of Haditha towards the port of Aqaba and the second stage towards Turkey, which means that our thinking should not be limited to Jordan, but also to the second phase." He added, ”What is scary about this issue is the issue of support, as well as the transfer of ownership of the pipeline from Haditha to Aqaba to the Jordanian government after twenty years which will mark the end of the partnership."
He explained that "the benefit of Iraq from this pipeline is the multiplicity of ports if there were problems in the way of the ports of Basra through the Gulf, then Iraq will have alternative outlets," stressing that "the visit of the King of Jordan to Iraq was basically to activate this line, which will support half of the budget of Jordan from this pipeline with three billion dollars annually at a time when the budget is six billion dollars."
Maliki said that "talking about a strategic alliance with Jordan through this line is not fair as the coalition of interests may change over time and after the end of the period of twenty years," stressing that "we have fears of this agreement being transparent and not offered to the Iraqi people.”