A 400-member Turkish trade mission heads for Iraq on Monday, March 12, to relaunch economic ties frozen by an embargo now considered obsolete, Anatolia news agency reported.
Trade secretary Kursad Tuzmen, who is heading the mission, briefed Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit about its objectives, the agency said Sunday.
A similar mission was organized last month by Ankara, which recently strengthened its diplomatic ties with its neighbor by reopening its embassy in Baghdad.
Turkey has also organized several "humanitarian" flights to Iraq since late last year with medical equipment and also businessmen aboard.
They were organized with the approval of Turkish authorities who said they had observed official procedures by informing the United Nations about the flights and where they came from.
Several other countries have since followed Turkey's example despite the UN air embargo on Iraq imposed after the Gulf War in 1991.
Anatolia did not say whether the latest mission would go to Iraq by land or by air. — (AFP, Istanbul)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)