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Salam meets with Iraqi Investment Authority delegation: Lebanon has a geopolitical interest in reactivating oil pipelines with Iraq

NNA - Caretaker Minister of Economy and Trade, Amin Salam, in his capacity as head of the joint Iraqi-Lebanese committee from the Lebanese side, held a lengthy meeting at his ministerial office today with the head of the National Investment Authority of the Republic of Iraq, Dr. Haider Muhammad Makkiya, and his accompanying delegation, which included engineers from the Oil Pipelines Company and specials in tele-communications, information technology and legal advisors. 

The meeting was devoted to discussing the project to rehabilitate the existing oil pipelines between Syria and Lebanon, with investment funding by the Iraqi side while safeguarding the sovereignty of both countries and working on extending an Arab optical fiber communications network.

Makkiya briefed Salam on PM Mikati’s encouragement of this step, requesting the support of the Ministry of Economy in following up on this file because of its strategic economic benefit for Lebanon and the region in the future, especially with the Republic of Iraq’s constant tendency to stand by Lebanon and help in its renaissance. 

He also considered that for this project to succeed, the Lebanese government and Parliament must work to issue the necessary laws and decrees to allow the Iraqi Authority to use the lands necessary to complete this project while preserving Lebanon’s sovereignty right.

For his part, Minister Salam welcomed the Iraqi delegation, thanking them for their "supportive and continuous fraternal initiatives towards Lebanon, in terms of providing fuel for electricity or wheat, and today working to revive Lebanon economically, reactivate Iraqi oil pipelines, and help Lebanon play its constructive geopolitical role."

He added: “With the Arab rapprochement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Arab Republic and the re-operation of flights between Damascus and Jeddah, it seems that things are moving towards openness..."

Salam considered that the Caesar Act must eventually come to relieve Lebanon from the pressures of the Syrian displacement and help in the reconstruction of Syria, which will provide very large job opportunities for various types of companies.

He stressed his "support for the Iraqi project because of its supreme national interest and benefit for Lebanon, the people and the state."

Salam assured that intentions exist to proceed with this project, while affirming that its success is also linked to positivity from the Syrian side.

Accordingly, both sides agreed to speedily and carefully follow up on the project while awaiting the Syrian response to the proposal of the Iraqi delegation, which will visit the Syrian capital immediately after the end of its visit to Lebanon.

 

==========R.Sh.

 

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