Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Iraq will open after the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday on September 23, according to informed diplomatic sources, and will mark the resumption of full diplomatic ties between both countries for the first time in 25 years.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, the sources, who requested anonymity, said Ambassador Thamer Bin Sabhan Al-Sabhan and around 40 of his staff will begin their diplomatic mission at the embassy in Baghdad following the holiday after Iraqi officials completed all necessary preliminaries last week.
The Saudi consulate in the capital of the Kurdistan region Erbil will open shortly after the embassy in Baghdad and will be headed by Consul Abdul Moneim Al-Mahmoud, formerly a member of Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic mission in Syria.
Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Iraq and broke off relations in 1990 following the invasion of neighboring Kuwait during the presidency of Saddam Hussein.
The Kingdom appointed a non-resident ambassador to Baghdad in 2012, but relations between the two countries remained strained throughout the premiership of Nuri Al-Maliki, which lasted from 2006 to 2014.
The sources said the reaction from Iraqi political circles toward normalizing ties with Riyadh have been “positive.”