Baghdad and Riyadh inaugurate a new phase in the troubled relationship and cancel the “visa”
Today, Monday, the Iraqi ambassador in Riyadh, Qahtan Al-Janabi, revealed new consultations with Saudi Arabia to cancel entry visas between the two countries, indicating the economic impact of this measure, while pointing to the opening of a new port.
Al-Janabi said in a statement reported by the Saudi newspaper “Okaz”, which was seen by Shafaq News Agency, that “bilateral consultations are ongoing between Saudi Arabia and Iraq to cancel entry visas for diplomatic passport holders, and abolish visa fees for regular passport holders, to facilitate the movement of citizens between the two countries.” The expected economic return on this matter.
Al-Janabi indicated that “opening a new port in Arar will make an economic leap for the city of Arar and the nearby cities, as well as in Anbar province and Al-Nukhayb city,” noting that “the two parties are about to complete some logistical and technical requirements.”
Al-Janabi described the joint relations as a “product of common religious, tribal and cultural commonalities between the two brotherly countries,” noting that “there is a complete agreement in the visions between the leaderships of the two countries.”
He pointed out, “The Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his crown prince, was keen to support the policy of openness towards Iraq,” noting that “the success of security cooperation between the two countries does not mean a lack of follow-up and monitoring of criminal and terrorist elements, especially ISIS, which is always trying to breach the borders.” That “the strength of dealing with these elements stops their endeavors.”
It is scheduled that Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazimi, a visit to Saudi Arabia, was previously postponed due to the hospitalization of the Saudi monarch.
On July 23, 2020, Al-Kazemi made a phone call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz to “check on his health,” and the latter expressed his aspiration to meet Al-Kazemi in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the earliest opportunity.
And the Iraqi Finance Minister, Abdul Amir Allawi, said in a statement that “cooperation between Iraq and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues in all fields, including opening doors for investment and activating the signed bilateral agreements that deal with the oil, energy, industry, agriculture and trade sectors.”
On July 19, 2020, an Iraqi delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Ali Allaoui, held meetings in Riyadh with the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council and the preparations for the visit of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi to the Kingdom.
In the first year of King Salman’s rule, Saudi Arabia resumed diplomatic relations with Iraq in December 2015, 25 years after it was closed after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
After decades of tension, relations began to improve dramatically, following the visit of Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, to Baghdad on February 25, 2017.
It was the first time that a high-ranking Saudi official had arrived in the Iraqi capital since 1990, paving the way for more visits between officials of the two countries.
In June 2017, former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Saudi Arabia, and it was agreed to establish a “coordination council” to advance their relations to the “strategic level.”
This resulted in the establishment of the joint coordination council between the two countries, in October 2017, to be the first stage in the development and growth of Iraqi-Saudi relations.
The council aims to elevate bilateral relations between the two countries in all fields to new heights, and to coordinate bilateral efforts to serve the interests of both countries.
It also guarantees the protection of common interests and the development of the strategic partnership between them. It also aims to encourage the exchange of technical and technical expertise between the two countries, and the transfer of technology and cooperation in scientific research.
It was agreed between the two countries to resume flights to a number of Saudi and Iraqi cities, and the first Saudi passenger plane landed at Baghdad Airport on October 18, 2017, the first in 27 years.
And in November 2018, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received the Iraqi President, Barham Salih, one month after he assumed office.
On April 4, Saudi Arabia inaugurated a consulate in Baghdad, as a new step, in a continuous process of strengthening the growing relations between the two countries. Source