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Iraq, six other nations build embassies in Abuja

Channels Television  
Updated April 23, 2012

Seven countries, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Turkey, Benin Republic, Serbia and Cote d’Ivoire, have started building their permanent embassies at the Diplomatic Drive, a street allocated to them in Abuja.


The Iraqi Ambassador to Nigeria, Ali Al-Amery, says the new embassy would be completed by April next year. According to  Al-Amery, a local construction company is n charge of the project which would cost about three million dollars.
On the other hand, the Ambassador of Serbia, Mr Rifat Rondic, says their construction project which would end at 2014 is being handled by Energo company, a Serbian firm.
Some embassies – Ghana, China, the United States, Niger, Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia, Cuba and Liberia – are already operating from the Diplomatic Drive.  Others are Palestine, North Korea, Brazil, Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso.
Meanwhile, apart from the embassies, the Diplomatic Drive area also houses a government agency, a church and an automobile dealership and this has led to criticisms by security experts.
“If government has designated the area for the embassies, no other agency should be situated there; it is called Diplomatic Drive; I believe the aim is to have a number of the diplomatic offices in one location.
“This is not only for easy access, but also for security reasons,” Mr. Emmanuel Ekpu, a security expert, said.
The UN House, attacked by the Boko Haram sect in August 2011, is also located on the Diplomatic Drive.