Syria to Let Citizens Travel to Iraq
All Syrian citizens will be able to travel to Iraq starting in November, as the longtime rivals continue to normalize relations, the Syrian interior ministry said Thursday.
Until now, only Syrian businesspeople have been able to travel to Iraq, with Syrian passports specifically forbidding visits to the country's eastern neighbor.
Syria and Iraq, ruled by rival branches of the Baath party, began to normalize relations in 1997, 17 years after they were broken off amid Syrian support for Iran in its war with Iraq.
Iraq opened an interests section in Damascus in March. Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf said last month that Syria would open a reciprocal office in Baghdad soon and that the two countries will eventually establish full diplomatic relations.
The Middle East Economic Survey, an industry newsletter based in Cyprus, has reported that Syria began to receive Iraqi crude oil on November 20 through a pipeline that had been closed for 18 years.
The information has not been confirmed in either Damascus or Baghdad -- DAMASCUS (AFP)
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