Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Saudi Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Salman, will visit Iraq soon responding to an invitation from Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi, an Iraqi parliament member was quoted saying.
Amer al-Fayez, a member of the parliament’s Iraqi-Gulf relations committee, told Sputnik agency that Bin Salman will probably visit Iraq soon based on an official invite from Abadi.
He said the coming days will see an exchange of to-level visits between both countries.
Earlier on Wednesday, The New Arab, quoting a “senior Iraqi official”, said a top Saudi official will be leading a high-level delegation consisting of ministers, government officials and businessmen, adding that “this will be the first visit of a Saudi official of such level to Iraq since 1989”, but did not disclose the identity of the visitor.
But the paper quoted parliament sources saying that the anticipated visitor is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, adding that he is expected to meet with Iraqi officials and politicians.
According to the Iraqi official, “the Iraqi government has received a notification from the Saudi embassy regarding the visit, but for security reasons, the identity of the Saudi arrivals was not announced’.
He added that “the visit is certain, but it is the date that is not yet set, and in principle, we are talking about next month”.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has recently been quoted saying that “Iraqi-Saudi relations are on the right track”, adding that those improving ties overcame “political sectarianism”.
Relations between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and the Shia-dominated Iraqi government have been tensional over the past few years due to Saudi Arabia’s opposition to the involvement of Iraqi Shia paramilitary forces in the fight against Islamic State militants. Saudi Arabia has always been irritated by the influence of Shia Iran, its arch regional enemy, over Iraqi politics.
But the past year saw an obvious rapprochement between both countries, with top-level officials exchanging visits and expressing eagerness to boost political, security and economic cooperation.
Last year, both countries established a joint coordination council to boost ties on all levels.