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Canada opens diplomatic mission in Iraq

April 1, 2013 at 4:03 PM

BAGHDAD, April 1 (UPI) -- Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird arrived in Baghdad Monday to open a diplomatic mission, the first visit to Iraq by a Canadian minister since 1976.

He arrived to open an office that will be an offshoot of Canada's embassy in Amman, Jordan, and will be housed in the British Embassy in Baghdad, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Baird spent the morning in meetings with Iraqi legislators and, under heavy guard, visited the compound of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the CBC said.

A statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa acknowledged military intervention in Iraq 10 years ago but stressed "Iraq is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world, despite deep and lingering sectarian tensions."

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