Al-Sadr explained that the Egyptian-Iraqi relationship is strategic and dates back the time of Babel. He added that the Iraqi government appreciates Egypt’s support in combating terrorism, and that it looks forward to increase collaboration in the future.
“There are currently some Iraqi cities that have suffered severe damage due to military operations against Islamic State (IS),” Al-Sadr said. “After totally expelling IS from these cities, they will need reconstruction. The first thought that comes to the Iraqi government’s mind is bringing Egyptian companies and workers to join the reconstruction process.”
He added that an Egyptian delegation visited Iraq in December, in order to transfer their expertise in the rehabilitation of factories and establishments which were destroyed, as well as supplying logistical medical support to Iraqi hospitals.
When he was asked about the problems facing the Iraqi community in Egypt, Al-Sadr said that there are still some unresolved issues, explaining that the visa procedures for Iraqis are very difficult.
Al-Sadr added that Egypt currently needs to restore its tourism sector, and if the visa requirements were facilitated for Iraqis, they will greatly contribute to reviving tourism. He said that Iraqis want to enjoy their vacations in Egypt which in turn will contribute to strengthening the ties between not only the governments, but the people as well.
Moreover, Iraqi investors—if allowed to enter Egypt?will boost Egypt’s real estate market with their high purchasing power. “There shouldn’t be any fear from Iraqis entering Egypt as there is no evidence that they ever carried out any terrorist activities outside of Iraq,” Al-Sadr claimed.