Iraq welcomes Saudi Arabia’s openness to the country
President Barham Saleh has stressed Iraq’s keenness to bring the views of the countries of the region closer in order to achieve stability and avoid conflicts.
He made his remarks during a meeting in Baghdad on Thursday with a visiting Saudi delegation, headed by Minister of Trade and Investment Majid al-Qasabi.
“Iraq seeks to create a system of common economic interests with the Kingdom and the countries of the region in general,” a statement by the Iraqi presidential office said, adding that Baghdad was looking to be a “platform… for the achievement of prosperity and progress for the peoples of the region.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called for the establishment of the best relations with Saudi Arabia, pointing out that Iraq attaches strategic importance to the relationship with the Kingdom.
In a statement, he also stressed his intention to “further expand bilateral relations by signing important agreements” during his imminent visit to Saudi Arabia.
The two sides discussed “preparations for the Iraqi-Saudi joint committee, where the Saudi delegation expressed the Kingdom’s readiness for cooperation in economy, oil and electricity linkage and its participation in reconstruction efforts of Iraq.
In this context, sources in Abdul Mahdi’s office told Asharq Al-Awsat that the prime minister would soon visit Saudi Arabia to crown the ongoing talks between the two countries.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said that Iraq considered the relationship with Saudi Arabia a strategic part of the country’s “balanced openness to the region.”
“Iraq is ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in all areas and overcome all obstacles that prevent the move towards development, whether in the political, economic, investment or cultural fields,” the sources emphasized.
Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi welcomed the visit of the Saudi delegation to Iraq. He expressed in a statement the legislative authority’s “determination to provide all forms of support, to promote the investment sector, and overcome the obstacles to development.” Source