Riyadh- Iraq’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Rishdi Al-Aani revealed on Monday that a number of transport ministry officials back home have been holding extensive talks with their Saudi counterparts, in a move to restore direct flights between the two countries.
These discussions played largely into reaching an agreement in terms of resumption of daily flights, Al-Aani told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
Documented sessions of talks were signed on immediately resuming direct airline activity, as well as daily air cargo flights, he added.
Flight destinations include Baghdad, Basra, Najaf, Erbil and Mosul, paving the way for the two countries to conclude a joint memorandum of understanding within days. He pointed out that both countries’ officials presented their final visions in hopes of reaching a joint memorandum of understanding.
Al-Aani also said that the meeting was attended by a group of technical and legal officials who completed detailed reports related to resuming aviation activity, including commercial and cargo flights.
On the other hand, Saudi Transport Minister Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan and General Authority of Civil Aviation President Abdul Hakim bin Mohammed Al-Tamimi met on Monday with Iraqi civil aviation chief Eng. Hussein Mohammad Kazem.
The two sides discussed the air transport services and mechanism of cooperation between the two countries and signed a memorandum of understanding between the two countries.
The tripartite discussed the mechanism of enhancing transport between the two countries, stressing that the General Authority of Civil Aviation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia keen on developing cooperation frameworks in the field of air transport with other countries, the Saudi state news agency SPA cited Al-Tamimi as saying.
For his part, Eng. Hussein Mohammed Kazem positively reviewed the meeting and noted great development in the relations between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Iraq, stressing that the governments of the two countries are devoted to enhancing opportunities that would boost economic and trade relations between the two countries.
He also expressed hope that this agreement provides opportunities for air carriers to restore direct flight services between the two countries.