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Syria to require visas for Iraqis

Syria to require visas for Iraqis

Syria, home to up to 1.5 million Iraqi refugees, has decided to require visas for Iraqis entering the country for economic, trade and educational purposes, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry says.
The new rules take effect September 10, the ministry said in a statement Thursday on its Web site.
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari was informed about the Syrian decision by his counterpart Walid Moallem in a telephone conversation Thursday, the ministry said.
The Syria move is seen as an attempt by the Arab state to reduce the flow of more than 30,000 Iraqi refugees every month.
Syria is one of the easiest countries for Iraqis to visit because they can stay up to six months then simply leave any border crossing and enter the same day to start a new six months. It was unclear how the rules would effect Iraqis who try to enter Syria simply to take refuge.
"Minister Moallem clarified that the Syrian government has decided to start the work of entry visa system to Iraqi citizens as of September, 10. 2007 to those who are going for economic, trade and educational purposes," according to the Iraqi Web site.
It said Moallem asked the Iraqi government to cooperate in this field.
Syria and Jordan host the largest number of the more than 2 million displaced Iraqis and both governments complain of the increasing burdens on their health and education infrastructures.


Updated : 2021-02-25 19:31 GMT+08:00