Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia to open embassy in Baghdad soon: Prince Faisal - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

Iraqi President Fuad Masoum (center R) meets with a number of Arab ambassadors to Riyadh, on November 12, 2014 , during an official visit to Saudi Arabia (SPA)

Iraqi President Fuad Masoum (center R) meets with a number of Arab ambassadors to Riyadh, on November 12, 2014 , during an official visit to Saudi Arabia (SPA)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia will reopen its embassy in Baghdad “sooner than you imagine,” the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told reporters after meeting with Iraqi President Fouad Masoum in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Prince Faisal, who met Masoum at his residence in Riyadh, said he was keen to visit Iraq, and emphasized the Kingdom’s efforts to maintain national unity and stability in the neighboring country.

The foreign minister said he hoped to see “the Iraqi brothers unite their words and support each other,” adding that the Kingdom “supports [Iraqis] and Iraq’s national unity and stability.”

Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Baghdad has been closed since Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime invaded Kuwait in 1990. Although Iraqi and Saudi officials have held bilateral meetings since then—including a presidential visit to Saudi Arabia in 2010—relations between the two states have frequently been tense.

Analysts say President Masoum’s visit, which ended on Thursday, may herald a marked improvement in relations between the two neighbors, a view likely to be strengthened by Prince Faisal’s comments.

Masoum, who began an official state visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, met the following day with the Chief of Saudi General Intelligence Prince Khalid Bin Banda Bin Abdulaziz at his residence in Riyadh. The two men discussed bilateral relations and common issues, according to reports.

Meanwhile, Masoum also met with a number of Arab ambassadors to Riyadh, during which he spoke about all aspects of Arab-Iraqi ties, particularly the ones with neighboring Saudi Arabia.

The Iraqi president emphasized “the similarity in the viewpoints of Iraqi and Saudi officials in terms of terrorism which has emerged in a new guise and form.”

In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari described Tuesday’s meeting between Masoum and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz at the Royal Palace in Riyadh as “more than positive; [it was] rather warm.”

“[The King] emphasized the necessity of [maintaining] the stability and unity of Iraq and the importance of the Kingdom opening up to the country. Even his Highness directed to expedite the opening of the Saudi embassy in Baghdad,” he added.