Iraqis no longer need visas to enter Syria: opposition
Iraqis no longer need visas or prior authority to travel to Syria, Iraqi opposition member Meshaan Juburi said Saturday, July 14.
Juburi, also the editor of the weekly Al-Ittijah Al-Akhar published in the Netherlands, told AFP in Damascus: "It is the first decision of its kind for 30 years".
Before this decision, Iraqis entering Syria had to pay $250, said Juburi, who added the new measure bears witness to "the continuing improvement of Iraqi-Syrian relations" and proves "the Iraqi authorities now consider Syria to be a safe neighbor".
On Monday, Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said Syrians did not need visas to enter Iraq since 1997. "Our Syrian brothers recently took a similar decision concerning Iraqi citizens," Saleh told Iraqi television.
Iraq and Syria, ruled by rival branches of the pan-Arab Baath party, began normalizing relations in 1997, following a diplomatic split over the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and Iraq's failed 1990 invasion of Kuwait. — (AFP, Damascus)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)