Iraq, Saudi Arabia sign air transport agreement in Riyadh

Iraq is eyeing a flightline between Baghdad and Venice in Italy, Italian media quoted Iraqi transport officials as saying on Tuesday.

Baghdad ( Iraq and Saudi Arabia signed, Tuesday, an agreement on aviation between both countries, a step to further activate flights movement.

Iraq’s transport ministry said in a statement that minister Kazim al-Hamami signed the agreement with his Saudi counterpart, Nabil al-Amoudi, in the Iraqi capital.

The agreement, according to the ministry, will “further activate the running of flights by national airlines and other companies between both countries”.

“This agreement comes as part of Iraq’s openness to world countries in a way that serves the economic and trade interests of the country, and to facilitate the travel procedures for Iraqis for the purpose of study, treatment and others”.

Last October, Saudi airliner FlyNas ran a flight from  Riyadh to Baghdad, the first between both countries in nearly three decades since aviation halted due to late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.

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.


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