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Saudi yet to confirm Arab summit attendance– Iraqi envoy to Riyadh | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Iraqi ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ghanim al-Jumaily, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Saudi Arabia has yet to confirm that it will attend the forthcoming Arab summit that is scheduled to take place in Iraq in March. He also spoke about the Iraqi – Saudi security file, revealing that this is top of the agenda in the ongoing discussions taking place between Baghdad and Riyadh, stressing the necessity of concerted effort between Saudi Arabia and Iraq to confront the many dangers that threaten both countries.

Dr. al-Jumaily stressed that Saudi Arabia and Iraq will unify their efforts to resolve the most dangerous files, namely “terrorism, extremism, and drugs” adding that these issues are of grave concern to both countries.

As for whether Iraq has received confirmation that Riyadh will be attending the forthcoming Arab summit that is scheduled to take place in Baghdad in March, the Iraqi ambassador said “until this time, we have not received Saudi confirmation that it will be attending the forthcoming summit”. He added that an invitation to attend the summit had been extended to Riyadh via Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

Dr. al-Jumaily also asserted that Baghdad considers its borders with Saudi Arabia to be secure, and there has been joint-cooperation between the two countries over the past two years on border security.

Talking about investment between Riyadh and Baghdad, the Iraqi ambassador to Saudi Arabia informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the economic file is “promising” and that despite the closure of the Iraqi – Saudi border, trade between the two countries is excellent.

He revealed that Saudi exports to Iraq last year exceeded 5 billion Saudi Riyals [SR] or $1.3 billion, whilst noting that Baghdad does not export any products to Saudi Arabia. Dr. al-Jumaily stressed that he expects economic relations between the two countries to grow and increase over the current year, and revealed that Saudi exports to Iraq include foodstuff, medical supplies, and construction equipment, adding that these are extremely important for Iraq.

He also revealed that Baghdad considers the re-opening of the Arar border crossing to be a priority.

The Iraqi ambassador stressed the importance of Saudi – Iraqi relations, adding that officials from both countries are convinced of the importance of bilateral relations, and the need to develop and expand this.