Jean-Christophe Auge (C), French Consul-General in Mosul, speaks to reporters during the inauguration of the new visa application centre in the northern Iraqi city on April 26, 2023. Zaid AL-OBEIDI / AFP
France inaugurates a new visa application Centre in Mosul in northern Iraq, the first initiative of its kind in the city, which is slowly rebuilding after being reclaimed from Islamic State jihadists in July 2017.
“France is the only country in the European Union that has a Consul General in the city of Mosul” said Jean-Christophe Auger, the French Consul to Mosul, who promises “opportunities for investment” in the region.
Prior to the center's opening, residents of Mosul had to travel 500 kilometers to Baghdad to apply for visas.
There is another visa center in the nearby city of Erbil, but that serves only residents of the Kurdistan region.
Mosul hosts a Turkish consulate, UN and international NGO offices, but Niniveh Governor Nejm al-Joubouri noted that France was "the first European country" to have appointed a consul general in the city. French President Emmanuel Macron appointed Augé as French Consul in Mosul on 16 May 2022.