Iraqi Kurdistan has an unofficial border crossing with Iran in the far Southeast recesses of of it’s territory that is set to be inspected by a ministry delegation. It is in doing this that the governing body for  the Halabja province hopes that the crossing will eventually become recognized as a official border point of entry. The delegation will contain eight Iraq government officials in total. This is an important step for Iraqi Kurdistan and foreign relations with Iran.

The deputy governor for Halabja, Kawa Ali, stated, “The visiting delegation will evaluate the crossing. We have requested for a long time for the crossing to be recognized as international. One problem at the crossing is its bad road, so we are asking for its road to be repaired before anything else is done.” While the delegation while not in any position of authority to declare the crossing official, will report their findings back to the Iraqi central government. Over one thousand families native to the province use the existing border gate to trade and conduct daily business. The crossing is 225 kilometers from the capital of Erbil and was shutdown by Iraq on February 5, 2018 but has since been re-opened.

The mayor of Halabja, a woman by the name of Nukhsha Naseh, told local media that there was potential for the crossing to become official. The mayor continued to say that the crossing already met all physical requirements and had the essential offices for customs and that the Iraqi government should be compelled recognize it. The activation would create a new trade route for the region and local businesses would greatly benefit further stimulate the economy.

Previously and Iraqi delegation based off 10 separate ministries visited two other border crossings in January that held similar potential. The delegations chief member, Shakir al-Jabouri, told local news outlets at the time, “Our committee has come to investigate the border crossing to be informed about the economic, customs and other infrastructural aspects of it. For the sake of increasing incomes we will send a report to a supreme committee and eventually the decision rests with the central government.”

The real benefit here is the possibility of economic growth and stability for the autonomous region that is Kurdistan. Whether the Iraqi government sees this to their benefit or not is in question. By the way the delegation is moving from border town to town over is a good indication that they are in fact intending to designate an official crossing.

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