Manama: An Iraqi high-profile parliamentary delegation will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, marking a spectacular rapprochement between the two neighbours and a remarkable thaw in their relations.
MPs travelling with the delegation referred to the visit as “significant”, Iraqi daily Assabah reported on Monday.
The delegation is expected to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, Shura Council President Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al Shaikh and Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir.
The new vision in Iraqi politics was planned by the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee at the start of the parliamentary session in 2014.”
- Shaikh Hassan Al Hamadani | Head of Iraqi-Saudi Friendship Committee
“The new vision in Iraqi politics was planned by the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee at the start of the parliamentary session in 2014,” Head of the Iraqi-Saudi Friendship Committee Shaikh Hassan Al Hamadani told the daily.
“The committee has formed a delegation from various committees and political blocs in parliament to start a one-week visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. The visit will include strengthening relations with the Saudi Shura Council and announcing the formation of the Saudi-Iraqi Friendship Committee in order to ensure cooperation between the representatives of the people in both countries and facilitate the work of governments and the conclusion of agreements to boost mutual interests and communication levels in the future.”
MP Shaikh Abood Waheed Al Eisawi said the visit aimed to strengthen parliamentary relations between the Saudi Shura Council and the Iraqi lawmakers.
“This is highly significant following the major turnaround in the relations between the two countries after a break of about 25 years,” he told the daily.
“We do hope that the new orientations of Saudi Arabia will head towards Iraq through supporting it in all fields because it fought a war on behalf of all neighbouring countries and the international community.”
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq have been steadily improving since February when Al Jubeir became the first senior Saudi official to visit Baghdad since 1990 when diplomatic relations were cut off following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi troops under President Saddam Hussain.
In June, Riyadh and Baghdad agreed to set up the Saudi-Iraqi coordination council and in the first concrete steps towards cooperation between the two countries, a major border crossing between the two countries was re-opened in August and direct flights between Baghdad and Riyadh were resumed in October after they were suspended in August 1990.
The Saudi-Iraqi coordination council held its first meeting last month in Riyadh.