Treibil: No Effort to Spare!

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Tue 22 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

Jordan has spared no effort to fast-forward the reopening of the Treibil border crossing with Iraq.

For both countries, Treibil is vital for the economy and crucial for the revitalisation of basic sectors; industry, trade, and transportation.

There is an abundance of security threats entailed by the crossing’s reopening so soon, and Jordan is quite aware of them.

Officials, however, are fairly convinced Jordan can work together with the Iraq and other global partners, mainly the United States, to secure the Amman-Baghdad interstate.

For a long time now, hidden forces in play have endeavoured to disrupt the progress of reopening the crossing. But the Foreign Minister’s visit to Baghdad, Ayman Safadi, under a blanket of communication on the highest of levels, between the Kingdom and Iraq, has helped push it forward.

Before Safadi went, Jordan’s Chief of Joint Staff, Maj Gen Mahmoud Freihat paid Baghdad a visit, and secured a promise to reopen Treibil as soon as possible.

Afterwards, the Iraqi side worked hard to ensure the crossing is open by the beginning of next month. Coordination with Jordan, for this particular purpose, has never been higher.

Envoys from both countries exchanged visits to outline the framework and manpower needed to operate the border crossing effectively.

To make sure Jordan is ready for the relaunch, the Minister of Interior, Ghaleb Zoubi, presided over a meeting with the state’s top ranking officials and security personnel to ensure the readiness of state bodies to operate the Treibil crossing at full capacity.

Jordan has always been well aware of the challenges to restoring the Crossing’s operational capacities.

Terrorist cells are scattered all along the borderline.

Earlier, the Kingdom patiently delayed the relaunch of the Crossing, until more solid guarantees were secured.

Now, thanks to the joint efforts of the Global Coalition and Jordan-Iraqi coordination, the two countries were able to retain the security requirements needed for safety.

Soon enough, freight trucks will cross Treibil all the way to Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.

Understandably, Jordan has been struggling under the heavy strains of a distressed economy.

With the borders crossed with Iraq and Syria, it became worse.

Needless to say, Jordan’s hope was that the borders will open as soon as possible, to restore some momentum to exportation and commercial activities.

In the meantime, the Iraqis have come to realise how important the border crossing is to them, for the same economic reasons.

To Amman, the Iraqi decision to reopen the border crossing, preceded by all the serious efforts to realise this joint interest, was a trying test of the sincerity of our relationship with Baghdad. Especially since the Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline project came under heavy political fire, recently.

Of course, reopening the border crossing carries interests and benefits beyond economic, for both, Jordan and Iraq.

In time, travel and transportation will regain momentum, both ways, which will prove vital in restoring previous ties between the two countries on the popular levels.

According to the information at hand, international companies will cover securing the road to Baghdad, alongside Iraqi forces spread across the western parts of Iraq.

To guarantee, however, that the situation does not deteriorate, in order to build sustainable security measures, Jordan and Iraq will have to condense all security and other efforts for the time to come.

Terrorist groups will never stop trying to disrupt commercial flow through the Treibil crossing. Attacks will come from every direction, in an attempt to compensate for their losses, in Iraq and Syria.

Politically, Jordan must not delay or spare any effort to resolve the economic crisis, even if it were somewhat troublesome to our partners.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.