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Kurdistan to exempt Iranians from visa fees: Official

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Iraqi Kurdistan Region has underlined its commitment to Baghdad decision to lift charges on visa for Iranian nationals, IRNA on Friday quoted the Iranian Consulate General in Sulaymaniyah as announcing.

Earlier, the Iraqi Council of Ministers passed a bill on March 27 to lift visa charges for Iranians, IRNA reported.

The Iraqi prime minister’s office announced in a statement earlier that "the Council of Ministers chaired by Adil Abd al-Mahdi has ratified a bill to lift visa charges for Iranian if Iran also reciprocates."

A visa charge waiver was announced by Iran and Iraq during a recent visit to Baghdad by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Iranians visiting Iraqi Kurdistan needed to pay 25,000 dinars ($20) for a visa.

Over seven million Iranians and Iraqis visit each other's country every year, mainly for pilgrimage. However, visits to the Iraqi Kurdistan takes place mainly for trade and tourism.

 

Iraq's decision

 

The Iranian embassy in Baghdad has announced that it will waive all visa fees for Iraqis looking forward to visit Iran earlier in April, the National has reported.

It is a reciprocal measure that will leave Baghdad at a loss, with millions of Iranians visiting Iraq every year more than Iraqis going the other way.

The move comes as part of Tehran’s efforts to warm ties with Baghdad after the US administration of President Donald Trump imposed an embargo and sanctions after Washington pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

It comes after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to Iraq last month, which saw the two countries restoring the 1975 Algiers Agreement as part of a drive to improve relations and to deal with border disputes along the Shatt Al Arab waterway.

The agreement also made pledges to make tourism, pilgrimage and commerce visas charge-free for citizens of both countries starting from April 1. Iraq's Parliament approved its bill exempting Iranians from visa fees on March 27.

 

The Iranian embassy said about 100,000 Iraqis visit the country every year, compared to as many as nine million Iranians visiting Iraq annually.

Iranian pilgrims travel to Iraq every year to visit the southern city of Karbala for the annual pilgrimage of Arbaeen. And more than 80 percent of foreign visitors to Najaf are from Iran.

Last Modified: Saturday، 20 April 2019 01:01 AM
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