NNA – The capital, Beirut, concluded the work of the “Quartet Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, to confirm the bonds of brotherhood among them.
The quartet meeting was held within the framework of activating cooperation in the agricultural field at the initiative of the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture and under the auspices of Prime Minister Najib Mikati and in the presence of official delegations. The points raised on the meeting agenda were discussed and the following was agreed upon:
- Enhancing trade exchange between the assembled countries through the exchange of documents on the possibility of establishing a private joint company working on marketing agricultural products among themselves according to the agricultural calendar that will be approved later, or establishing joint marketing associations between the agricultural associations and supporting them governmentally by granting them preferential considerations and advantages or both together.
- Developing unified models for phytosanitary and veterinary health certificates between countries based on international standards and on detailed regulations for the foundations and criteria for granting each of them.
- Adopting the draft memorandums of understanding submitted by the Syrian side as a preliminary paper to be reviewed and comments made in accordance with the regulations followed in each country to be re-drafted to represent the vision of the participating countries and to be jointly signed.
- Inviting other Arab countries that wish to join the discussions and dialogues between the four assembled countries to expand the horizon of coordination, cooperation, and trade exchange between the Arab countries.
- Discussing issues related to transit and transporting goods between the assembled countries to the concerned authorities and approving what is appropriate and adopting it at the next meeting in the presence of the Ministers of Transportation in the participating countries in a way that ensures the reduction of marketing costs and an increase in the exchanged quantities of agricultural products between countries.
- Full coordination in the exchange of information on diseases, epidemics, and agricultural disasters, and the adoption of joint mechanisms to combat and control them.
- Discuss the possibility of unifying the procedures for registering fertilizers and veterinary medicines between the assembled country and adopting what is appropriate and compatible with the laws and regulations in each country.
- Forming a joint technical committee among the assembled countries that would develop proposed formulas for the agreed points, provided that they would be approved by a technical meeting in the Republic of Iraq so that they could be presented, discussed, and appropriately approved at the next meeting.
- Studying the agricultural calendar for each country, determining the comparative and competitive advantages of agricultural products, and the possible opportunities for exchange within specific time periods and quantities.
- Strengthening cooperation and coordination with Arab and international organizations and bodies and related agencies and funds and calling them to adopt and provide the necessary funding to implement regional projects among the assembled countries to confront the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector and enhance food security.
- Agree to hold the next meeting during the month of next September, provided that international and Arab organizations working in the agricultural field and investors wishing to see investment opportunities in all countries are invited.