Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Iraq-Saudi border crossing reopens after 30 years

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Nov 18, 2020 The Arar border crossing linking Iraq and Saudi Arabia has reopened for commerce after a 30-year closure, Iraq’s border authority mentioned Wednesday. The Saudi-Iraqi border crossing was closed within the 1990s after Saudi Arabia severed ties following Iraqi chief Saddam Hussein’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait. The crossing has remained closed, with exceptions made for Iraqis to cross to Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage.  On Wednesday, the Saudi ambassador to Iraq joined Iraqi and Saudi officers at a ribbon reducing for the crossing’s reopening, which marks the newest effort to deepen financial cooperation between the 2 international locations. During the summer season, Saudi Arabia and Iraq signed plenty of funding agreements on power and sports activities, in addition to a memorandum of understanding on coronavirus cooperation.  Relations between largely Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and majority Shiite Iraq have warmed in recent times, starting with the reopening of the Saudi Embassy in Baghdad in 2015 and a uncommon go to by a Saudi overseas minister to Baghdad in 2017. That similar yr, US particular envoy Brett McGurk paid a go to to the Arar crossing in a present of help for its reopening.  Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has sought stronger ties with Saudi Arabia, which in flip seeks to lure Baghdad away from Riyadh’s regional rival, Iran. Kadhimi deliberate to make Saudi Arabia his first overseas journey as premier, however the go to was scrapped after Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud was hospitalized in July.  Last week, a high-level Saudi delegation visited Baghdad for talks geared toward bolstering cooperation in power, agriculture, well being and different areas.  This story comprises reporting from AFP.

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