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Sheikh Ahmad inspects Basra International Football Stadium.
Sheikh Ahmad inspects sports facilities in Baghdad, Basra

27 Mar 2013
Baghdad, Iraq: The President of the Olympic Council of Asia and Association of National Olympic Committees, H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, became the first global sports leader from the Olympic movement to make an official visit to Iraq since 1990 when he conducted a two-day trip this week. During his visit, Sheikh Ahmad inspected the sport facilities in the capital Baghdad and in the southern city of Basra.

Speaking to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on his return to Kuwait on Wednesday night, Sheikh Ahmad said his visit was "a positive translation" of the agreement to cement the bilateral ties reached during the visit to Iraq last year by His Highness the Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah AI-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Sheikh Ahmad said his visit highlighted a shared desire to enhance youth exchanges and sports activities between the two countries. “Sports and the friendly youth exchanges are conducive to the enhancement of the  values  of peace,  mutual  understanding  and cooperation which  in turn have positive  impacts on political and economic ties," he pointed out.

He added that his visit aimed to assess the quality of Iraq's sports facilities, particularly for football, and verify the country's preparations for hosting the 22nd Gulf Cup in Basra. He commended the progress made by Iraq to rehabilitate the sports infrastructure which led to FIFA’s partial lifting of the ban on Iraqi soccer grounds and enabled the country to host international friendly matches.
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