ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – In an official announcement earlier last week, Tehran said it would internationally recognize three border crossings between the Kurdistan Region and Iran for trade and tourism, a Kurdish official stated on Sunday.
Kawa Ali, the Deputy Governor of Halabja, said Iran’s presidency had announced the formal opening of the border crossings of Kele, Shoshme, and Shekh-Salih “for trade and tourism.”
Two of the border-crossings, Shoshme and Shekh-Salih, are located in Halabja province while the Kele border crossing is in the Ranya district of Sulaimani governorate.
“The next step is for the Iraqi counterparts to ratify the decision,” Ali told Kurdistan 24, noting they expect an agreement soon through a meeting between both countries’ officials.
“A delegation from Halabja met with Iranian officials on Aug. 8 to request a formal approval to facilitate the decision-making process with the Iraqi officials,” he added.
The final decision to formalize the semi-official border crossings lies in both Iran and Iraq’s hands as the border crossings are used for limited trade of certain goods such as cement, sand, and construction materials only.
However, after the border crossings gain officialdom, they can be used for international trade between the Kurdistan Region and Iran as well as for travel purposes.
In early 2019, Baghdad and Tehran signed several Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation in trade, mainly in the electricity sector to address Iraq’s chronically-troubled power industry, especially in the southern provinces.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany