The Kingdom of Bahrain has decided to upgrade its diplomatic representation in Baghdad to ambassador level for the first time since the 1991 Gulf War, Information Minister Nabil al-Hamr said Wednesday.
"This is a normal move" in the framework of the rapprochement between Iraq and both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, initiated at last week's Arab summit in Beirut, Hamr told AFP.
Furthermore, "thousands of Bahrainis visit holy sites in Iraq and bilateral trade is increasing, making it necessary to have an ambassador at the head of the (Bahraini) mission" in Baghdad, he conveyed, but did not disclose the name of the new envoy.
Many Bahrainis visit Shiite Muslim holy sites in Najaf, Karbala and Samarra in the southern part of Iraq and Kazimieh in Baghdad.
Bahrain and Iraq did not sever diplomatic relations in spite of Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, however their embassies in each other's capital were headed by charges d'affaires.
Last October, Iraq upgraded its representation in Manama, appointing Ali Sebti al-Hadithi as its first ambassador to Bahrain since the Gulf War. (Albawaba.com)
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