Israel's Haifa Port Facilitating Iraqi Trade

(Times of Israel) Elhanan Miller - Iraq and Israel do not enjoy diplomatic relations but the Israeli port of Haifa has been secretly serving as a conduit for trade between Iraq and Europe for a long time, Haifa mayor Yona Yahav told Al-Jazeera. Trucks from Jordan carrying Iraqi merchandise arrive at Haifa port and load it onto ships that travel to Europe. A WikiLeaks document published in October 2010 revealed a conversation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin in February 2009 in which Netanyahu spoke of "strong but unpublicized trade between Haifa port and Iraq via Jordan." Yahav said the Israeli government is investing $70.6 million in a train line between Haifa and Beit She'an, on the border with Jordan. Trade expert Matanis Shahadeh told Al-Jazeera that from Iraq's point of view, the Iraq-Haifa route is much more direct and cost-efficient than the alternative maritime route through the Persian Gulf.

2012-07-12 00:00:00

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