Saudi Arabia to reopen border with Iraq after 27 years

Saudi Arabia to reopen border with Iraq after 27 years
Wed Aug 16, 2017 08:39:22

Saudi Arabia plans to open the Arar border crossing with Iraq for the first time since 1990, according to Saudi local news media and officials.

(aljazeera) -- Abdul Aziz al-Shammari, Saudi charge d'affaires in Baghdad, said on Tuesday "the crossing that will open soon will be dedicated to the transportation of goods".

The Mecca newspaper reported that Saudi and Iraqi officials toured the site on Monday and spoke with Iraqi religious pilgrims, who had access to the crossing only once annually during the Hajj pilgrimage season.

Sohaib al-Rawi, the governor of Iraq's southwestern Anbar province, whose staff was on hand for the ceremonies, said the Iraqi government had deployed troops to protect the desert route leading to Arar and called its opening a "significant move" to boost ties.

"This is a great start for further future cooperation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia," said al-Rawi.

The border was closed after Baghdad and Riyadh cut ties following former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.

The announcement follows a decision by the Saudi cabinet on Monday to establish a joint trade commission with Iraq.

(Photo: The Iraqi-Saudi border, reuters)

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