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Iraq Denies Swedish Report Of Improper Passports

(RFE/RL) January 31, 2007 -- Iraq's ambassador to Sweden, Ahmad Bamerni, was called to the Swedish Foreign Ministry today amid reports the Iraqi Embassy in Stockholm issued thousands of passports on false grounds.

But ministry spokesman Andre Mkandawire reported the ambassador said the claims are false.

Sweden's free daily "Metro" today reported that the Iraqi Embassy had issued some 26,000 passports over the past two years without carrying out proper identity checks.

The paper quoted Swedish Migration Board officials as saying they had information that people from Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Lebanon applied for Iraqi passports at the embassy in order to seek asylum.

The Swedish Justice Ministry is now looking into the matter.

(AFP, dpa, AP)

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RFE/RL Iraq Report

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