Iraq to help Jordan with free crude oil

Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) β€” Iraq says it is giving neighboring Jordan 100,000 barrels of oil as a gift to help overcome its economic difficulties.

The decision by the Cabinet Tuesday could be seen as an attempt by the Shiite-led Iraqi government to offer support to one of its Sunni neighbors. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have fled to Jordan because of violence that followed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of their country.

This month Jordan announced hikes in gas and fuel prices, sparking nationwide protests that turned violent in some areas. They included unprecedented calls on Jordan's King Abdullah II to step down.

According to an agreement with Iraq, Jordan buys 15,000 barrels of oil a day, with preferential prices of less than $18 a barrel, about one-fifth of the current market price of oil.

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