Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon signed a memorandum of understanding in Syria on Monday to achieve regional agricultural economic integration, the Syrian news agency SANA reported.
The memorandum stipulates the promotion and development of cooperation in the agricultural field, the livestock sector and the exchange of knowledge, information, successful agricultural experiences, as well as the management of reserves and gardens between the four countries.
The agreement also includes "cooperation in fire fighting, climate change, rural development, agricultural extension, production, animal health and veterinary medicines".
Lebanese Agriculture Minister Abbas Haj Hasan said the memorandum was "a fundamental step for joint pioneering Arab action starting from Damascus", and looked forward to including "all Arab countries in the near future".
His Syrian counterpart, Muhamad Hasan Qatana, said that, through the agreement, investment projects will be presented in the field of establishing livestock and fodder facilities.
He stressed that the ultimate goal of all is "to achieve food security, as the four-party agreement is a step forward" and "the rest of the Arab countries are invited to join in".
Iraqi Agriculture Minister Abbas al-Alaoui said the agreement is "a starting point for joint work and cooperation in the agricultural sector," on which most Arab peoples depend, in addition to "providing markets for the marketing of the products of the four countries.
His Jordanian counterpart, Minister Khaled al-Hanifat, called for expanding cooperation within an Arab framework to include more countries, which will have a positive impact "on food security and the Arab citizen", according to Jordan's state-run Al-Mamlaka television.
Al-Hanifat said that "Jordan has extensive experience in the agricultural sector, although it is the poorest in water, but it is the one that applies the most technology in the agricultural sector", although this experience "is used and prepared to serve all Arab countries".
For all these reasons, he considered that Jordan can contribute to supporting the agricultural sector in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.
The signing of this memorandum in Syria comes at a time of rapprochement between Arab countries in the region after twelve years of frozen relations with Damascus due to the brutal repression of the revolts that broke out in March 2011 against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.