Iraq reopens al-Qaim border-crossing with Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-30 22:37:30|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- Iraq on Monday reopened al-Qaim border-crossing for passengers and cargo movement with neighboring Syria after it was seized by the Islamic State (IS) militants.

A statement by Alaa al-Din al-Qaisi, director of the Iraqi Border Ports Commission, said that the head of the commission Kadhim al-Eqabi opened the crossing point for trade and tourism between the two countries on behalf of the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

The reopening of the terminal, that was occupied by IS militants until 2017, is expected to increase trade movement between the two neighboring countries. It links the Iraqi border town of al-Qaim to the town of al-Boukamal on the Syrian side.

Syria's Interior Minister Mohammed Rahmoun also attended the reopening ceremony, al-Qaisi said.

Ahmed Hameed, head of Iraq Anbar's provincial council, told Xinhua that he hopes that reopening of the border-crossing will stimulate the movement of passengers and commercial traffic between the two countries.

"Such movement will reflect positively on Anbar, by creating job opportunities and increasing revenues of the province," Hameed said.

In 2014, IS militant group took control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria, including vast areas on both sides of the Iraqi-Syria border, resulting in the closure of the terminal to passenger and commercial movement.