The Saudi-Iraqi coordination council held its first meeting with the aim of consulting and coordinating on issues of mutual interest and enhancing cooperation between the two sides in various fields.
Inaugurating the council on Sunday, Saudi King Salman said that “what links Saudi Arabia to Iraq is not just geography and common interests but ties of fraternity, blood, history and destiny”.
“I look forward to the meetings of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council to move towards a broader and more welcoming horizon. We congratulate our brothers in Iraq on the achievements made in eradicating and defeating terrorism,” the King said.
“We are facing in our region serious challenges in the form of extremism, terrorism as well as attempts to destabilize our countries,” King Salman said.
Below is a translation of the joint statement:
The members of the council thanked the leaders of the two countries for their generous patronage and support for the promotion of relations to serve the aspirations of the governments and peoples of both countries.
The two sides stressed the common denominator between the two countries and peoples of the two brotherly ties of religion, brotherhood, neighborliness, brotherhood and common destiny.
The council also praised the achievements made by the Iraqi government in liberating areas that have been defiled by terrorism and the extension of state authority over Iraqi territory.
The two sides expressed their satisfaction with the direction of the oil market to recover as a result of the agreement of the OPEC countries with ten countries from outside the Organization. They stressed the importance of full commitment by all countries participating in this agreement until the target balance is achieved. The two sides will work closely to take the necessary measures after the end of the current agreement.
The Council was briefed on the results of the Kingdom's participation in the Baghdad International Fair, which was a great contribution to the economic and trade relations. The Saudi side also noted the level of welcome and hospitality enjoyed by the Saudi delegation from the reception to the departure.
The two sides stressed the need to work together to reduce the obstacles and facilitate the entry of exports between the two countries. They also agreed to develop the partnership between the private sector in the two countries and to provide businessmen with the opportunity to learn about trade and investment opportunities, adopt effective means to help them exploit them, and encourage the exchange of technical and scientific expertise and scientific research between the two countries.
The Saudi side will also study the possibility of cooperation in the rehabilitation of Jamwa Samawa road and completion of the implementation of the road pilgrimage in Anbar province, and study the technical and economic feasibility of the Saudi-Iraqi electricity link project.
The Iraqi side also thanked the Kingdom for its initiative in studying the implementation of customs ports, which will contribute to facilitate trade exchange between the two countries.
The two sides reached an agreement on the opening of border ports and the development of ports, roads and border areas, and agreed to review the agreement for customs cooperation between the two countries, and study the trade exchange between the two countries.
It also announced the re-operation of airlines from Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Iraq and the opening of a consulate for Saudi Arabia in Iraq. In addition to the opening of an office of TAQA in Iraq and the reopening of the SABIC office in Iraq.
The two sides also agreed to acquire the Saudi company Salik license to invest in Iraq in the agricultural field of the Anbar Investment Commission in Iraq. In addition to benefiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the economic cities available in Iraq to be an agricultural and industrial source that contribute to the promotion of agricultural investment to achieve food security of the two countries.
As part of the promotion of bilateral relations, it was agreed that Saudi Arabia would participate in exhibitions in the Republic of Iraq, including the Baghdad International Fair, the Basra Oil and Gas Exhibition, and the Business and Investment Forum, which brings together Saudi businessmen with their Iraqi counterparts.
During the first meeting of the Council, the two sides discussed the priorities of the work of the Council during the next two years, and the governance of its work, and the formation of a working group of the two parties to study them. They also agreed to hold the second meeting of the Council in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in the presence of their Excellencies’ Ministers and senior officials of the two brotherly countries.