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Sweden to reopen Baghdad embassy

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Sweden to reopen Baghdad embassy
11:47 CEST+02:00
As Sweden announced plans to reopen its Baghdad embassy later this year, Iraq's prime minister also called for Iraqi refugees to return to their former homeland.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt revealed the news in a press conference after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Friday.

The embassy is to open just outside the heavily armed Green Zone, near the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. At present, Swedish ambassador Niclas Trouvé lives in Jordan's capital city of Amman but frequently travels to Baghdad for work.

During the press conference, Iraq's prime minister let it be known that he hoped many Swedish-Iraqis would return to their former homeland.

"More than anything, we want Iraqis to return. We want our country's talent and competence to return," he said.

The Malaki-government is currently working on a strategy to set aside resources to prepare for Iraqi refugees from all over the world who choose to return of their own free will.

He expects tens of thousands will make the move and intends to give them privileges.

During the conference Reinfeldt pointed out that around one percent of Sweden's population have Iraqi roots.

The Iraqi PM is in Sweden to build lasting relationships with Swedish companies such as Volvo and Scania. The two companies used to be active in Iraq and Maliki hopes to sign an agreement with them shortly.

The Iraqi delegation met Swedish Minister for Trade Ewa Björling and representatives from 18 Swedish companies, including Volvo, Tetra Pak, ABB and Scania on Friday.

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