BAGHDAD - Iraq is close to reaching a deal to cut the price of oil it sells Jordan in return for receiving preferential tariffs on goods Jordan ships to Iraq via the port of Aqaba, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday.
Aqaba port at the north end of the Red Sea has long been a major transit route for Iraqi imports and exports, and Amman has long relied on Iraqi crude to fuel its economy.
Abdul Mahdi and Jordan's premier Omar Razzaz are due to meet next week to discuss the deal and also to discuss establishing a new industrial zone, the Iraqi prime minister told reporters. He did not give further details.
Jordan Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Hala Zawati visited Iraq last week to meet Iraqi officials, after King Abduallah visited Iraq for this month for the first time since 2008.
(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein and John Davison Editing by David Evans and Edmund Blair) ((John.Davison@thomsonreuters.com;))