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Iraq Pleased with Launch of New Chapter in Ties with Saudi Arabia

Iraq Pleased with Launch of New Chapter in Ties with Saudi Arabia

Friday, 19 April, 2019 - 06:15
King Salman receives Iraqi PM Abdul Mahdi in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Baghdad – Hamza Mustafa
Iraqi officials hailed the opening of a new chapter in ties with Saudi Arabia in wake of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s trip to the Kingdom on Wednesday.

Leading members of the Reform and Construction alliance Haidar al-Malla said the trip reflects a continuation of the Iraq’s efforts to return to the Arab fold.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat that in wake of the US sanctions against Iran, Baghdad must turn to the Arab world in order to secure its energy, economic and investment interests.

“Saudi Arabia is the only country that can fill this void,” he stressed.

He added that the visit to Saudi Arabia was the government’s crowning achievement after it held a summit with Iraq, Jordan and Egypt in Cairo in March.

The Kingdom is a key player and economic coordination could pave the way to cooperation in security and politics that would ensure the elimination of terrorism and extremism and rein in Iran’s influence, he explained.

He said that the problem does not lie with Iran the country, but its revolution.

Political science professor at the University of Baghdad Dr. Khaled Abdulilah told Asharq Al-Awsat that Iraq wants stability and security in the region, especially now that ISIS has been defeated.

“Saudi Arabia is seeking to make up for the years of severed ties with Iraq,” he noted.

Moreover, he stressed that Baghdad wants to make it clear that it will no longer be an open ground for foreign conflicts.

Economic expert Dr. Abdulrahman al-Shammari said that the Saudi-Iraqi summit on Wednesday was a continuation of the visit by a senior Saudi delegation to Iraq earlier this month.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz held talks with Abdul Mahdi on Wednesday upon his arrival in Riyadh on an official visit.

Abdul Mahdi also held talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

King Salman and the PM oversaw the signing of 13 agreements covering energy, agriculture, industry, oil and gas, mineral wealth, maritime transport, education and culture.

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