Finland opened Honorary Consulate in Mosul, Iraq
On 18 March 2021, Finnish Ambassador to Iraq Vesa Häkkinen opened an Honorary Consulate of Finland in Mosul together with Najm Al-Jubouri, Governor of the Nineveh Governorate. The Honorary Consulate of Finland is the first foreign honorary consulate in Mosul.
By opening an Honorary Consulate in Mosul, Finland wants to demonstrate its support for the reconstruction of Iraq. In 2014, Mosul suffered very serious damages after terrorist organisation ISIL took control of the city. The battle for Mosul ended in a victory over ISIL in July 2017.
Mosul, a city on the bank of the Tigris River in northwest Iraq, is the second biggest city in Iraq. Tradition has it that the city was founded in 641. It is the capital of the Governorate of Nineveh. The consular district covers the whole governorate.
The Honorary Consul's task is to promote the economic and cultural relations between Finland and Iraq
The newly appointed Honorary Consul of Finland in Mosul, Nouri Al-Mosawi, has an extensive knowledge of business life in Iraq, the Middle East and Finland. His spouse, Hala Al-Sarraf, is Executive Director of the Iraq Health Access Organization (IHAO), which is a non-governmental non-profit organization. IHAO’s office and the Finnish Honorary Consulate in Mosul are located in the same building.
The key task of the Honorary Consul of Finland in Mosul is to work in cooperation with the Embassy of Finland in Baghdad and promote the commercial, economic and cultural relations between Finland and Iraq and especially between Finland and the district under the jurisdiction of the Honorary Consulate. The Honorary Consul will participate in efforts to strengthen the image of Finland in the country. He may also give advice to Finnish companies in matters relating, for example, to local business culture and possible cooperation partners. The Honorary Consulate of Finland in Mosul does not provide consular services.
Honorary consulates complement the network of missions abroad
Honorary consulates complement Finland’s network of missions abroad, which consists of embassies, consulates general, consulates and other missions. Honorary consuls are private citizens handling the task on a part-time basis without remuneration. Finland has approximately 400 honorary consulates around the world.
The Honorary Consulate of Finland is the first foreign honorary consulate in Mosul and the only honorary consulate of Finland in Iraq. Finland has had an honorary consulate before in Baghdad, but it was in operation for only two years, from 1956 until 1958, when it had to be closed because the honorary consul went in exile. Finland and the Republic of Iraq established diplomatic relations in 1959.