The work of the Neighboring Countries Department
The Neighboring Countries department is a Political department, that deals with bilateral relations between the republic of Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran and the republic of Turkey in various political, economic and cultural fields, as well as security, official visits, and negotiation on outstanding issues such as borders, water and other issues, coordination on related topics with political, legal, and technical departments, The department consists of the following divisions:-
1/ Iran Division :The department works on following up all bilateral joint politics, economy, culture, visits, borders and water issues, joint oil fields, ports of entry files, between the Republic of Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran through direct correspondence between the two countries, and express political opinion in specialized subjects.
1- Iraq has diplomatic representation at the level of an embassy based in Tehran headed by Ambassador Mr. Saad Jawad Qandil, as well as three consulates general in Mashhad, Ahvaz and Kermanshah.
2- Iran has a diplomatic representation at the level of an embassy based in Baghdad headed by Ambassador Mr. Iraj Masjedi, who presented his credentials on 24 April, 2018, as well as five consulates general in Najaf, Karbala, Basra, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.
2/ Division of Turkey: The department works on following up all joint bilateral political, economic, cultural, border and water security, ports of Entry, mutual visits issues, between the Republic of Iraq and the Republic of Turkey by direct correspondence between the two countries.
1- Iraq has a diplomatic representation at the level of an embassy in Ankara headed by Dr. Hassan A-Janabi, as well as two consulates General in Istanbul and Gaziantep.
2- Turkey has a diplomatic representation at the level of an embassy in Baghdad headed by Ambassador Mr. Fatih Yildiz, who submitted his credentials on 13 February, 2017, as well as a general consulate in Erbil and a general consulate in Basra and a consulate general in Mosul which is currently closed because of Security situation in the governorate, the Turkish side seeks to reopen it.
A Summary on bilateral relations between Iraq and Turkey
The history of Iraqi-Turkish relations goes back to 1921, agreement on the demarcation of the border between Iraq and Turkey in 1926 is one of the most important official documents signed between the two countries at the time, the bilateral relations began to develop and took many forms, including political, commercial and economic, and reached its peak during the years 2006-2012, and was culminated by the two countries’ signing of the strategic political declaration during the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Iraq on 10 July, 2008, and signing 48 memorandum of understanding and agreement in various fields of cooperation in the second meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Supreme Council for Strategic Cooperation held in Baghdad on 15 October, 2009, but many of them were not activated because of the ratification procedures in both countries, they also signed a memorandum of understanding for the exemption of the holders of diplomatic and service and private passports, from entry visas between the two countries on 12 August, 2016 which is considered one of the most important achievement for the year 2016, and it entered into force on 28 October 2016, the relations are currently open as a result of the Turkish cooperation with Iraq, where the record trade exchange rate for 2018 was(10) billion dollars and there are agreements and memorandums of understanding and joint minutes between the two countries to 82.
an Iraqi-Turkish Economic Committee was established in 1980, the last meeting of the Committee is the 18th session in May 2018 and the Supreme Council for Strategic Cooperation was established in 2008 the last meeting in Baghdad on 7 January, 2017, Bilateral relations began to develop further between the two countries after the arrival of the Prime Minister Dr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi assumed his duties and exchanged visits at the level of the presidency and the of Foreign Ministry.
A summary on bilateral relations between Iraq and Iran
1. The two countries are linked with special political relations; Iran is the first country to recognize the new Iraqi government after 2003, and the first foreign minister to visit Iraq after 2003 is Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi.
2. There is an Iraqi embassy in Tehran and three Iraqi consulates general in Ahwaz, Kermanshah and Mashhad, while there is an Iranian embassy in Baghdad, five Iranian consulates general in Basra, Erbil Sulaymaniyah, Najaf, and Karbala.
3. There are (74) memorandum of understanding between the two countries, many of them haven’t entered into force.
4 – Entry visas granted to the citizens of the two countries of holders of ordinary passports are free, and holders of diplomatic passports and service travel between the two countries don’t need visas.
5 – There are several committees between the two countries; the most important is the Supreme Strategic Committee, which is headed by Prime minister from the Iraqi side.
And from the Iranian side headed by first deputy of Iran president, the committee held four meetings, the Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Issues, which is chaired by the Iraqi Foreign Minister from the Iraqi side, and the Iranian side and the Minister of Commerce from the Iranian side and it held three times.
6 – The amount of trade exchange between Iraq and Iran reached about 12 billion dollars, and the gas and electricity supplying from Iran is the most important Iraqi imports from Iran.
7 – One of the most important issue facing the development of the relationship between Iraq and Iran is the failure to resolve the matter of land borders and the borders in Shatt al-Arab permanently, as the Algiers Agreement 1975, which is canceled from the Iraqi side in 1980, that the line of the deep track as a navigational channel for ships Altaluk (border line) is the border-defining Shatt al-Arab , but this line exposed to a large deviations reached (2200 )meters, which exposed the sovereign view of Iraq on the Gulf to the risk of demise, and the location of Al Amaya Oil port to the risk of falling on the Iranian side, and the negotiations have been on this matter since 2008, during the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi to Tehran on 6 April 2019, The two sides announced their serious willingness to solve this issue .