Iraqi and Syrian nationals can now travel between the two countries "without prior authorization" for the first time in almost two decades, an Arab diplomat in Baghdad said Tuesday, July 3.
"Nationals from the two neighboring countries can now travel in each of the two countries without prior authorization," the diplomat told AFP.
A transport company official in the Iraqi capital confirmed that the move was introduced on Sunday and allows travelers from the two countries to obtain entry visas at the border.
Iraq and Syria, ruled by rival branches of the pan-Arab Baath party, began to normalize their relations in 1997, following a diplomatic rupture over the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and Iraq's failed 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The two nations signed a trade agreement in January.
Syria's official SANA news agency reported earlier Tuesday that Iraq planned to open a maritime transport office in the Syrian Mediterranean seaport of Tartous in "the course of July."― (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)