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Duluth officials to Skype sister-city pledge with Rania, Iraq

The mayor of Rania couldn’t get a visa to attend the ceremony, so they’re going to Skype it today.

Duluth is establishing its fifth sister-city relationship today, with Rania, Iraq.

The mayor of Rania, Hiwa Qarani, had hoped to attend a signing ceremony in person, but encountered visa problems. So Duluth Mayor Don Ness and others will Skype the ceremony with him this morning, says the Duluth News Tribune.

A light lunch will be served during the event at Duluth’s City Hall, says the Sister Committee.

A group from Duluth had visited Rania in 2013 and laid the groundwork for the relationship. Wendy Ruhnke, of Duluth Sister Cities International’s executive committee, said: “We’re very connected to these people, and we were very disappointed when they couldn’t come. But we wanted to do this official signing before Mayor Ness leaves office. So we decided to do it this way.”

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Duluth’s four other sister cities are:

  • Thunder Bay, Canada
  • Ohara -Isumi-city, Japan
  • Petrozavodsk, Russia
  • Växjö, Sweden