Cablegate: Foreign Trade Undersecretary On Booming Trade

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Foreign Trade Undersecretary on Booming Trade
With Iraq, Border Congestion

REF: STATE 250386

1. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.


2. (SBU) In a September 5 meeting with Econ Counselor
and Econoff, Foreign Trade Undersecretary Tuncer Kayalar
predicted that Turkish exports to Iraq would continue to
grow quickly, and said that an intense inspection regime
aimed at combatting smuggling and fraud is the reason
for delays at the Habur border crossing. Kayalar made
no substantive reply to EconCouns' demarche on
Eximbank's plans for a framework agreement with the
Trade Bank of Iraq (reftel). End Summary.

3. (U) Meeting with Foreign Trade U/S Tuncer Kayalar,
EconCouns delivered reftel demarche on Eximbank's plans
to negotiate a framework agreement to insure lending by
the Trade Bank of Iraq, emphasizing that this move is
not aimed against third country exporters. In response
to EconCouns' question on Turkish-Iraqi trade, Kayalar
responded that Turkey is currently exporting about USD
100 million to Iraq monthly and expects to reach USD one
billion by year-end. He expects trade to continue to
grow in 2004.

4. (SBU) Kayalar stated that border delays at the sole
crossing in Habur are the result of Turkish Customs'
close inspection of trucks to counter smuggling and
fraud. He said 74 trucks had been stopped because their
drivers had sold part of their fuel cargo in Turkey and
replaced it with water before attempting to enter Iraqi
territory. Truckers are also smuggling on the return
trip to Turkey.

5. (SBU) Kayalar said the GOT was keen to facilitate
bilateral trade through a second border crossing, and
establishing direct rail links and border trade centers
which would allow duty free trade between firms and
individuals in the border regions of both countries.

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