After six years, Rabat reopens embassy in Baghdad, vowing stronger ties
After six years of closure, Morocco finally reopened its embassy in Iraq as the two states vow to build stronger ties.
Over the weekend, Morocco's foreign minister Nasser Bourita flew to Baghdad on the first visit of a Moroccan official to Iraq in two decades to attend the inauguration ceremony.
"We are witnessing today a new era of Moroccan-Iraqi relations, on the same solid foundations already in place, but with visions in line with the reality of the two countries and the region," Bourita said during the press conference on Saturday.
Ahead of the ceremony, Bourita met with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al Sudani, who vowed stronger cooperation with the North African kingdom after years of political distress in Baghdad.
"Morocco is a gateway for Iraq to enter the African continent. Entering Morocco is important because the Kingdom plays an important role, especially in the economic aspect of the African continent," Iraqi FM told reporters during the press conference.
Iraqi FM also reiterated his country's support for Morocco's territorial integrity and sovereignty over Western Sahara and its efforts to find a solution to the long-standing conflict.
Under Saddam Hussein's rule, Iraq was one of the first Arab countries to support Morocco's autonomy plan in the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Meanwhile, the Moroccan foreign minister emphasised his hope for his visit to be a "turning point" in Morocco-Iraq relations and boost cooperation and sharing of expertise in all fields, notably politics, economy, security, and fighting extremism.
The two ministers signed later on Saturday two memoranda of understanding on the creation of a mechanism for political consultations and in the field of diplomatic training.
Morocco closed its diplomatic representation in Baghdad first in 2004 after two Moroccan nationals were kidnapped. In 2016, Rabat closed once again its embassy in Iraq due to security reasons and relocated to Amman, Jordan.
At the time, the Islamic State (IS) took over several regions of Iraq, pushing several countries to relocate their diplomatic representations.