Israel, Jordan to Talk on Iraq Pipeline - Source
TEL AVIV (Reuters) -
Israel and Jordan will hold meetings
about the possibility of restarting an oil pipeline from Iraq (news - web sites)
to Israel via Jordan that was closed 55 years ago, a National
Infrastructure Ministry source said on Wednesday.
The source told Reuters minister Joseph Paritzky will meet
Jordanian officials about restarting the pipeline, which sent
Iraqi oil from Mosul to the northern Israeli port of Haifa
during the British mandate period, on the assumption a
pro-Western government will be set up following the U.S.-led
"Jordan contacted the prime minister's office who asked the
minister (Paritzky) to meet with the Jordanian officials," the
source told Reuters. "We know the section of the pipeline here
is in excellent condition but we want to know what the
Jordanian part is like and whether it can be restarted easily."
The source said Paritzky believes restarting the pipeline
could reduce Israel's fuel costs by 25 percent and turn Haifa
into "the Rotterdam of the Middle East."
The flow of Iraqi oil to Haifa stopped in 1948 with the end
of the British mandate and the Israeli War of Independence that
followed and the establishment of Israel, the source said.
"It's too soon to estimate the chances of the pipeline
restarting or its financial impact for Israel although it would
obviously be substantial," the source said. "It depends on what
kind of government takes office in Iraq.
"The Jordanians are optimistic though and the minister is
very keen to try and flesh out a plan for restarting the oil
flow," the source said.
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