The Iraqi ambassador in Turkey, Hassan Al-Janabi, said on Saturday that the return to activating the 2009 agreement regarding the entry of travelers from the two countries without entry visas, after a decisive meeting next month between two delegations from Baghdad and Ankara.
Regarding visas between the two countries, Al-Janabi said, “One of the outcomes of the official visit of the Iraqi government delegation to Ankara is an agreement to return to work with the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2009 between the two countries after considering its validity for the post-ISIS period and perhaps modifying or adding a paragraph or two to address the security concerns that led to the suspension of work on it by the Turkish side, which resulted in resorting to sticky visas. “
He added, “Since last May, obtaining entry visas has become difficult, costly and confusing, and we have worked to spare citizens these difficulties in the past period through consular consultations, and the matter culminated in a meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries in Ankara on the 16th of this month, then the agreement of Presidents Kazemi and Erdogan.” On the 17th, the matter was announced at their press conference.
The ambassador added, “Next January, we will hold dedicated meetings to review the Memorandum of Understanding, update it and bring it into effect as soon as possible, and I will inform you of any development.”
An average of 1.3 million Iraqi tourists visit Turkey annually, and there are more than 750 Turkish companies working with Iraqi partners in Iraq, and the trade volume exceeds (16) billion dollars annually.
It is noteworthy that tens of thousands of Iraqi students are in Turkish schools, and that Turkey is the place that is most attractive to Iraqis compared to neighboring countries, and these will be positively affected by the decision to return to the 2009 agreement to obtain entry visas at airports.
On Thursday, Al-Kazemi, accompanied by a high-ranking government delegation, made an official visit to Turkey, in which he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The visit included discussing security, economic and trade files, as well as water and borders, and granting entry visas to facilitate the movement of citizens between the two countries.
On Tuesday, the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked its Turkish counterpart to return to the 2009 agreement, which allows entry of citizens of the two countries without entry visas.