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Saudi FM Makes Historic Visit to Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A handout photo released by the Iraqi Prime Minister’s press office on February 25, 2017 shows Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (R) meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in Baghdad. (Photo by AFP)

Baghdad – Saudi Foreign Ministry Haidar al-Abadi reiterated that Saudi kingdom stands at the same distance from all Iraqi components and supports Iraq’s unity and settlement.

Jubeir’s statements came during his historic visit to Iraq during which he met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

During his unannounced visit, Jubeir was accompanied by a team of Saudi security and economic experts, according to Abbas al-Bayati, member of foreign relations parliamentary committee.

During the meeting with Abadi, the two discussed issues of common interest in addition to means of enhancing bilateral relations.

Jubeir described his meeting with Abadi as positive and fruitful. He congratulated Iraq on its achievements in countering terrorism, stressing the desire of both countries to eliminate the scourge of terrorism.

“There are also many shared interests starting with the fight against extremism and terrorism in addition to opportunities for investment and trade between the two countries,” he added.

Jubeir’s visit to Baghdad is the first by a Saudi foreign minister since 1990.

Abadi’s office said the two men “discussed cooperation in various fields, including the fight against ISIS.”

Speaking to reporters after meeting Jaafari, Jubeir stated Riyadh’s willingness to help bridge the sectarian divide.

The Saudi foreign minister also met his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

Jaafari welcomed the strengthening of ties between Baghdad and Riyadh, on both political and economic levels, noting that each side will work to improve trade and other economic cooperation.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest in addition to means of enhancing bilateral relations. Jaafari said: “The ties that bind the two countries are many, and the visit comes to restore bilateral relations to their correct course.”

He also welcomed moves that will benefit both countries, including the reopening of the Jumaima border post between the neighbors and other types of economic cooperation.

The minister hailed the visit of Jubeir especially that he is the first foreign minister from Saudi Arabia’s kingdom to visit Iraq after 2003, showing that Iraq is keen to establish the best relations with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He said: “We have to induce efforts and continue dialogues and exchange visits between the two countries’ officials to build strong relations to could play a strategic role in treating the challenges of the region”.

Jaafari stated that he has commissioned the undersecretary of the Iraqi foreign minister to soon visit the kingdom and follow up the technical issues to activate the dialogues between Baghdad and Riyadh.

From his side, the Saudi FM stressed that the connections between the kingdom and Iraq are many and this visit is to restore the bilateral relations to its right line.

Jubeir called to exchange visits between the officials of both countries and activating the mutual files, showing that there is a will to work on opening Jumaima outlet between Iraq and the kingdom and discussions to open an air bridge and activating the Civil Aviation between both countries.