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Syria and Iraq agree on cross-border trade

Iraqi forces gather near the crossing between Syria and Iraq on 1 November 2018 [MOADH AL-DULAIMI/AFP/Getty Images]
Iraqi forces gather near the crossing between Syria and Iraq. [MOADH AL-DULAIMI/AFP/Getty Images]

Syria and Iraq have agreed to resume easier cross-border trade and direct flights, Syrian media reported on Monday. Flights will re-start in early February.

"Baghdad is one of the important destinations for Syrian Air," the Director General of Syrian Air, Obaida Gebrael, was quoted as saying by SANA. "In light of the increasing demand and the economic feasibility, passenger flights will be operated to Baghdad through Damascus International Airport."

According to the Syrian Transport Ministry website, there will be two flights per week between Damascus and Baghdad on Sundays and Thursdays, starting from 2 February.

Moreover, both countries agreed to allow travellers and goods to enter through Al-Qaim border crossing. Lorries transporting goods through Al-Qaim from Syria will be able to enter Iraq if drivers have a multiple-entry visa, an Iraqi official told the New Arab. "The same will happen with vehicles going from Iraq to Syria, confirmed Suad Al-Amiri. Priority will be given to lorries transporting perishable products such as fruits and vegetables.

At the moment, products moving from Syria to Iraq are unloaded from Syrian trucks and reloaded onto Iraqi trucks at the border crossings before entering. The same process takes place in reverse for goods heading to Syria.

There are three border crossings between Syria and Iraq.

READ: Iraq PM walks diplomatic tightrope in crackdown on dollars smuggled to Iran

IraqMiddle EastNewsSyria
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