Iraq approved the free trade agreement with Syria
Iraq-Syria, Politics, 2/2/2001
The Iraqi government on Thursday ratified the free trade agreement which was signed with Syria on Wednesday in Damascus, while Switzerland had opened its embassy in Baghdad in a step which is expected to be followed by other European states.
A meeting by the Iraqi cabinet chaired by President Saddam Hussein ratified the trade agreement with Syria besides other agreements signed during the visit of the Iraqi- Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan to Syria. Ramadan was the highest ranking Iraqi official to visit Damascus since 20 years.
The Iraqi news agency said that the cabinet " listened first to a briefing made by Ramadan about his visit Syria," adding that the Iraqi Cabinet expressed its satisfaction over the concluded results.
The agreement signed between the two countries is expected to increase the volume of trade exchange between the two countries to US $ one billion this year from just US $ 500 million in the year 200.
Syria says that trade relations with Iraq fall in the course of what is permitted in line with the UN sanctions imposed on Baghdad since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Iraq also signed a free trade agreement with Egypt in January this year.
Meantime, the Swiss government has re-opened its embassy in Baghdad after it was closed in 1991. The Swiss diplomat at the embassy Kurt Renejer said that " the Swiss embassy in Baghdad was re-opened after 10 years of its closure, via the liaison office." Renejer who in charge of the humanitarian affairs at the embassy said: " we have arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for that purpose and it is scheduled that other diplomats will come within the few coming months to supervise consulate and commerce issues.
Iraqi vice president to visit Damascus
Syrian mediation between Iraq and the Arab Gulf states
Damascus lifts restrictions on traveling to Iraq
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