Iraq

Iraq agrees to allow foreign pilgrims attend Arbaeen ceremony

The Iraqi National Health Committee has agreed that foreign pilgrims can enter the country by land and air to attend the Arbaeen ceremony.

The Secretariat of the Iraqi Cabinet today (Thursday) in a very urgent circular addressed to various ministries, non-ministerial institutions and all provinces of the country, has announced the decision of the Supreme National Health Committee, as the body responsible for combating the outbreak of the new generation of Coronavirus (Covid-19), regarding the issuance of entry visas to foreign pilgrims to participate in the Arbaeen ceremony of Imam Hussain (A.S), in order to take the necessary measures in this regard.

The circular states that on the recommendation of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi and chairman of the Supreme National Health Committee, the committee decided at its meeting of yesterday (Wednesday) to agree to grant entry visas to the foreign pilgrims for Arbaeen ritual. It has also designated the international airports of Baghdad and Najaf Ashraf as the only entry points for foreign pilgrims.

According to the decision of the Iraqi National Health Committee, entry visas for up to 1,500 pilgrims from each country through approved tourism companies will be issued directly by the delegations of this country abroad and their residence permits will be also until October 10.

Meanwhile, the committee, has agreed to allow 250 Iranian caravans to enter Iraq, provided that there should be no more than 10 members in each convoy and that they should enter the country only through the Mehran-Zarbatieh Border Crossing. It was also decided that a total of 4,000 Iranian pilgrims could travel to Iraq through the Mehran border and the airports in Baghdad and Najaf Ashraf to attend the Arbaeen ceremony in Karbala.

The Iraqi Supreme National Health Committee also stressed the need to establish accommodation and visa centers on the Mehran-Zarbatieh Border Crossing for emergencies and to complete all necessary measures, noting that air and land entry visas for Arbaeen pilgrims are only for those with valid passports.

According to the decision of this committee, the foreign pilgrims of Arbaeen must present the negative result of their “PCR” test in the accommodation and visa centers and have performed this test within 72 hours before entering the territory of Iraq, while the Joint Operations Command takes responsibility for providing the necessary military forces at the Zarbatieh border crossing.

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