Switzerland reopens embassy in Iraq
Iraq-Switzerland, Politics, 2/2/2001
Switzerland has reopened its embassy in Iraq after a hiatus of 10 years, Chinese news agency Xinhua said quoting a local TV report.
The report said that the Swiss Foreign Ministry has recently dispatched two diplomats, rather than an ambassador, to Baghdad and reopened its embassy to take charge of the Swiss economic affairs and visa services in Iraq.
The priority of the diplomats is to work for promoting economic relations with oil-rich Iraq and find out more opportunities for Swiss humanitarian assistance and technical issues, the report said.
Swiss Foreign Minister Joseph Dayes announced last November that Switzerland would reopen its embassy in Iraq and would work to support the Swiss economic interests there and cement bilateral ties.
Switzerland never severed its diplomatic relations with Iraq, but closed its embassy during the 1991 Gulf War for security reasons. There have been a steady improvement of relations between the two countries in recent years. Switzerland donated humanitarian goods worth more than $ 2 million to Iraq last year. Iraq has been under crippling United Nations sanctions ever since its invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.
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