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Press Statement
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 15, 2003


Iraq: U.S. Passport Restrictions Amended

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has amended the restriction on the use of U.S. passports for travel to, in, or through Iraq by certain U.S. citizens providing humanitarian and other critical services in support of the Iraqi people. The restriction is lifted for those people conducting humanitarian activities subject to a specific license issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control; those conducting humanitarian activities funded by the United States; personnel of the United Nations and its agencies; or U.S. Government personnel and contractors on official assignment in Iraq.

The passport restriction was amended to simplify the travel of staff of organizations designated to deliver critical goods and services urgently needed by the Iraqi people. The Secretary is taking this step to enable these organizations to bring urgently needed humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Iraq.

General travel conditions in Iraq are still extremely hazardous for Americans. The Iraq Consular Information Sheet and Travel Warning on the Consular Affairs website (www.travel.state.gov) describe the risks in detail.

The restriction on use of U.S. passports to travel to, in or through Iraq otherwise remains in place until the Secretary determines such travel is safe for Americans. U.S. passports are not valid for travel to, in or through Iraq, unless they are validated by the Department of State. The only exceptions are the passports of journalists on assignment in Iraq, U.S. citizens residing in Iraq as of February 8, 1991, and those of humanitarian workers affected by this amended restriction.

Released on April 15, 2003

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