Indian nationals may consider travelling to five Iraqi provinces: MEA

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New Delhi: In a travel advisory, External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said that Indian nationals may now consider travelling to Iraq except to the five provinces of Nineveh, Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar, and Kirkuk.
The Ministry, in its advisory, said these five provinces in Iraq remain unsafe due to the prevailing security situation there.
Those Indian nationals wishing to travel for employment and already having work permits and appropriate visas may return to their jobs in the safe areas in Iraq.
They may inform the Embassy of India in Baghdad or the Consulate General of India in Erbil prior to travelling to Iraq. Those Indian nationals wishing to travel for religious purposes and having appropriate visa and return air-ticket may also travel for pilgrimage to the holy places of Najaf and Karbala. However, they have been advised to not extend their religious pilgrimage to neighbouring Syria.
After the ISIS terrorists took over large Iraqi territories in 2014, the MEA, in a travel advisory, had cautioned Indian nationals to avoid all travel to Iraq, until further notification. As the local security situation improved over the time, another Travel Advisory was issued in last February, allowing Indian nationals to consider travelling to the country except five Provinces as those remained affected by terrorism and violence.
A fresh travel advisory was issued on January 8 due to the escalation of tension, cautioning Indian nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to and within Iraq, until further notification, while assuring that Indian Embassy in Baghdad and Consulate in Erbil will continue to function normally to provide all services to Indians residing in Iraq.