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Russia, Iraq discuss direct air links

February 13, 2014, 18:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow and Baghdad are discussing the establishment of possible direct air links, Russia’s ambassador to Iraq said Thursday.

“Russia is open to a tourist flow from Iraq. Iraqis visit the Russian Federation with pleasure, our consular department issues many tourist visas,” the ambassador, Ilya Morgunov said.

“An agreement on air travel is being worked out. Direct flights from Moscow to Baghdad are planned,” he said.

The ambassador said that “the very fact that the issue is on the agenda suggests that the passenger flow is soaring - ever more people are traveling in either direction.”

“Besides tourism, people also visit Russia for medical treatment and education. Over the long term, when the situation in Iraq normalizes, I think our Orientalist students will also start going to that country. Earlier, many of our compatriots underwent practical training in the University of Baghdad,” he said.

But Morgunov advised Russian tourists to abstain from trips to Iraq for the time being.

“I would like to once again urge all Russian enthusiasts of extreme tourism not to tempt fortune. They had better put on hold their tourist trips to Iraq. Neither the local authorities, nor the embassy have the ability to protect tourists in a country where hostilities are a daily occurrence here and there,” the diplomat stressed.

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