Jordan to name envoy to lead its diplomatic mission in Iraq

Amman - The Jordanian government said Friday that it planned to name a new ambassador to Iraq to lead the Kingdom's diplomatic mission in Baghdad.

'The government will name the Kingdom's ambassador to Iraq in the coming period in order to take up his post as head of the diplomatic mission in Baghdad,' the Minister of State for Information Affairs and Communication Nasser Judeh said.

The Jordanian official did not specify when the Jordanian ambassador would be named and travel to Iraq to run the Jordanian embassy, which was the scene for a fatal bombing in August 2003.

The move apparently came in response to pressures put on the Jordanian government by the United States and Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi who ended a three-day visit to Jordan on Thursday.

The Amman government named an ambassador to Iraq three years ago but the diplomat failed to take up his post owing to lack of security protection, officials said.

Al-Hashemi pledged during his visit that the Iraqi government would reinvigorate an agreement reached between the two countries in 2006 under which Iraq promised to supply Jordan with crude oil at preferential prices.

He also told leaders of the private sector in Amman that Jordanian businessmen and industrialists would be given priority in getting Iraq reconstruction deals.