Saudi crown prince due in Iraq next month — source

Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (left) and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (right)

Baghdad ( – Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman al-Saud is scheduled to start an official visit to Iraq next month to probe means of boosting relations between the two countries in all fields, a well-informed source was quoted as saying Monday.

Speaking to Sky Press Agency, the source said, “the Saudi crown prince will sign a number of strategic agreements between Baghdad and Riyadh in the economic and investment fields.”

The top Saudi official will be leading a high-level delegation consisting of ministers, government officials and businessmen.

“Prince Mohamed will also attend the inauguration ceremony of the Arar border crossing between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and the opening of the Saudi embassy in Baghdad and the Saudi consulate in Najaf as well,” the source pointed out.

He added that the “Iraqi government had taken all needed measures in preparation for the two-day visit.”

The visit, which comes at an invitation from Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi, is the first to be paid by a Saudi official of such a level to Iraq since 1989.

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.

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