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S. Korean gov’t source says
Iraq to Reopen Embassy in Seoul in 13 Years
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani

Iraqi Embassy will reopen in Seoul in the spring of this year 13 years after it was closed due to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, South Korea's news agency YNA reported on Jan. 15, 2007.

"Three Iraqi diplomats including a minister opened their temporary office in a Seoul hotel at the end of November 2006." YNA quoted a South Korea's Foreign Ministry's source as saying. "As soon as an official office is secured Iraq will send the head of mission to Seoul."

The source said "It appears that Iraq chose Seoul as a nation to give help to Iraq for the reconstruction of the war-torn country."

The source also cited as a reason for the reopening of the Iraqi mission that fact that South Korean is the country which sent the third largest troops to Iraq after the US and the Great Britain. Currently, over 3,000 South Korean soldiers are stationed in Arbil, northern Iraq.

When the Iraqi mission reopens in Seoul it will be possible for Koreans to get a visa to Iraq in Seoul. In the case South Korean businesses will easily take part in the reconstruction projects in Iraq.

Iraq is the country with world's third largest oil deposit only after Saudi Arabia and Iran. Particularly, many parts of Iraq remain unexplored for oil.

Thus, if security is guaranteed more South Korean businesses will advance into the untapped Iraqi oil market.

Both South Korea and Iraq exchanged the opening of diplomatic mission in each other's country in 1989. South Korean closed its mission in Baghdad in 1991 at the break of Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and Iraq shut its mission in Seoul in 1994.

In 2003 South Korea reopened Korean Embassy in Baghdad. Interim Iraqi government has been showing its will to restore Iraqi diplomatic mission in Seoul since its inauguration in May 2006.






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