Finland now has a new honorary consulate in Iraq, the place of origin of one of the main groups of immigrants in the Nordic country.
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," the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
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.
Second biggest city
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 in cooperation with the Embassy of Finland in Baghdad.
The honorary consulate of Finland in Mosul does not provide consular services.
According to government information, 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.
Honorary consuls are private citizens handling the task on a part-time basis without remuneration. Finland has approximately 400 honorary consulates around the world.