Source: The Australian - 19/08/2009
Up to Damascus, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi official visit to Syria for talks with Syrian officials aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries and ways of enhancing and promoting them in all areas, especially on the economic front.
The visit comes at the invitation of Engineer Mohammad Naji Otari, Syrian Prime Minister is expected to open during the visit, political and economic issues for developing cooperation in the fields of oil and gas and the development of border and free zones and the granting of facilities for the movement of goods and activating the role of the functional commissions to investment and management of water resources in addition to the file search of Iraqis in Syria, particularly with regard to their affairs and conduct their transactions and their studies there. Official sources said the mutual visits between officials in both countries reflects the common desire to develop cooperation for the benefit of Syrian and Iraqi peoples. Maliki visited Syria in August 2007 and met with Syrian President Bashar al - Assad al-Assad when he said the need to achieve national reconciliation among the Iraqi people so as to ensure Iraq's unity and independence, the sense of Arab and Islamic identity.
It was during this visit, bilateral relations between the two countries and mechanisms to activate the agreements signed was emphasized in the political sphere on the importance of enhancing coordination between the two countries on regional and international levels.
The two countries signed last April during the meetings of the Higher Committee Syrian - Iraqi border, which was held in Baghdad headed by the Prime Ministers of both countries Otri and Maliki signed a protocol to the Convention for the avoidance of double taxation and cooperation protocols in the field of free zones and industrial and three executive programs for cooperation in the field of health, cultural and environmental protection and notes understanding in the field of housing and reconstruction, scientific and cultural cooperation.
Both sides also agreed to prepare a draft agreement for strategic cooperation to achieve integration between the two countries in all areas and the designation of foreign ministers prepared and presented to the two governments as a prelude to sign it as soon as possible. This is the Minister of Finance Mohammad al-Hussein and his Iraqi counterpart, Bayan Jabr last week on each of the record file joint financial obligations of the old and the record of an agreement between the two offices combined to secure the Syrian and Iraqi, in addition to the minutes of the meeting of the Iraqi delegation's visit to Syria.
The two sides agreed under the record of financial commitments to grant a period of 16 month to 23 than to the owners of the contracts that have already been approved and subsequently rejected for any reason to be able to provide new Thbotiet had previously been given to prove their claim to be answered during the two months.
He called on Hussein to "the necessity of settling the issue of financial benefits between the two countries and lay the foundations for the development of relations between free zones and the development of mechanisms of joint border posts." He also called for "the need to achieve practical steps on the ground of the founding of the Bank and the Syrian-Iraqi agreement on all points relating to be established by in particular identifying the resident and the contributions of the two sides to begin the process of incorporation and launch its IPO as soon as possible, "adding that" the need to establish a banking relationship directly between the two sides. "
The two sides agreed to establish a banking relationship between the Trade Bank of Iraq and Commercial Bank of Syria and encourage the rest of the Iraqi banks that it can and commit the bank to cover the Iraqi import credits as it deems appropriate and seek to encourage the two sides work through banks appropriations will provide many benefits to both countries.
It was also agreed to strengthen relations between the Syrian Commercial Bank and Bank of Iraq through the deposit of cash at the border offices of the Commercial Bank of Syria to be migrated to external accounts after it is deposited in foreign accounts paid by the bank deposits in Iraq benefits received by the Commercial Bank of Syria correspondents.
With regard to the Arab Bank TJV two sides agreed that the Iraqi side to visit the bank to inspect the assets and access to its situation, particularly the delegation of the Syrian Commercial Bank is currently visiting the Arab Bank and the Turkish company specialized evaluation.
With regard to free zones, the two sides agreed to study the establishment of a free joint between the two countries and exchange of legislation relating to the regulations of private investment in free zones and all the privileges and facilities granted to investors in addition to allowing the use of port-based Abu Kamal border crossing of goods from Syria to the Free Zone in the Iraqi-based.
And on the agreement that was signed between the Syrian General Establishment for Insurance and National Insurance Company, said the Iraqi Finance Minister that "the agreement that was signed for the recognition of documents issued by the two institutions gave added value to the joint meetings held between the two sides" to Avtaily that "the agreement would reduce the amounts paid by drivers Trucks from $ 400 to $ 69. "
The two sides agreed to re-activate the insurance card standard for the conduct of vehicles through the Arab states the Orange Card between Syria and Iraq from the beginning of next month as well as a settlement of claims and all matters relating to the Convention between the two offices combined to secure the Syrian and Iraqi periodically once every six months. The card is orange insurance policy approved by the Secretariat of the Arab Federation of Insurance and is certified by most Arab countries that signed the Convention on the insurance card standard for the conduct of a car across the Arab world. It will be the Orange Card is a document that includes insurance coverage granted to the Syrian and Iraqi vehicles outside their borders.