The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, where the Iraqi-Jewish archive exhibit will be on display until 18 May
A travel advisory issued by the US is expected to have important ramifications for the ongoing dispute over the Iraqi-Jewish archive, due to be returned after restoration in the US to Baghdad in June 2014.
The warning, issued yesterday, cites "ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence." The warning noted that Baghdad International Airport has been hit by mortar rounds and rockets.
It said that said the US embassy is "extremely limited" in its ability to respond to situations that U.S. citizen might face in the Middle Eastern country.
The precarious security situation casts grave doubt on Iraq’s assurances that the archive will be safe on its return to Baghdad.
Resolutions approved in the US House of Representatives and Senate ‘strongly recommend’ that the terms of the agreement to return the archive be renegotiated.
State department officials and senior Iraqi leaders are currently hammering out the legal details of a new arrangement with a view to extending the archive’s stay in the US.
In response to representations by an Iraqi-Jewish constituent, Congressman (Republican) for Tennessee Stephen Fincher wrote:
“We share your concern and understand their value (of the archive) to the Iraqi-American community and to others in the United States. That is why we are in discussions with high levels of Iraqi government and other interested parties aimed at finding a mutually-agreeable approach to ensuring continued access and extending perhaps significantly the period of time the IJA exhibit remains in the US. I am pleased to inform you that these discussions are producing positive results and that the Government of Iraq is showing that it understands the value could provide for US-Iraq relations."
When the exhibition of the Archive at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York ends on 18 May, additional venues to host the IJA exhibit will have to be found.
On 30 April, elections due are to be held in Iraq. Opposition factions may try to exploit them in order to undermine current US-Iraqi current negotiations.