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Morocco Reopens Embassy in Iraq after 18 Years


Asharq Al-Awsat


Morocco has reopened its embassy in Iraq, which has been closed for 18 years.
This launches a new phase of cooperation between Morocco and Iraq, especially at the economic level.
The Moroccan embassy shut down in 2005 and moved to Amman due to “deteriorating security conditions” in Iraq, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates.
The reopening of the embassy coincides with the official visit of Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccans Abroad Nasser Bourita to Baghdad on Saturday.
"This visit is historic in that it is the first visit of a Moroccan foreign minister and government official for a long time, in addition to that it will witness the opening of the Moroccan embassy in Baghdad, which was closed 18 years ago,” Bourita said during a joint press conference following the meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein.
He emphasized his hope for his visit to be a turning point in Morocco-Iraq relations and boost cooperation and sharing of expertise in all fields, notably politics, economy, security, and fighting extremism.
Rabat and Baghdad would draft a roadmap for future ties including the Palestinian cause, the establishment of the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital, and the denouncing of attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Moroccan official also stressed his country's will to develop trade and economic ties with Iraq, and advance cooperation on "combating extremism and enhancing security."
Rabat closed its embassy in Baghdad after Al-Qaeda terrorists kidnapped two of the embassy’s employees.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi foreign minister called on Morocco to facilitate the entry of Iraqi citizens into the North African country, especially businessmen.
“We talked about creating a mechanism to bring together businessmen and investors from both sides, and establishing a forum for businessmen from both countries,” Hussein elaborated.
The Iraqi minister said that between the two countries, there are about 40 MoUs and agreements signed in previous times.
He further affirmed Iraq's support for the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Morocco and the efforts of the United Nations to reach a final solution to the issue of the Moroccan Sahara.

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