In a boost to bilateral relations, Saudi Arabia opens new Baghdad consulate

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The Saudi consulate in Baghdad was opened on Thursday with the raising of the Kingdom’s flag at the consulate building in the presence of senior Saudi ministers visiting the Iraqi capital as part of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council delegation.

The high-level Saudi delegation, which includes seven ministers, representatives of other government ministries and major private companies arrived in Iraq on Wednesday on a two-day official visit.

The opening ceremony took place in the presence of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, headed by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi. The Iraqi side was headed by Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim, and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs and Minister of Oil Thamir Al-Ghadhban.

Three more consulates will soon to be opened in other Iraqi cities, according to Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi.

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In a press statement, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that opening of the consulate reflects the keenness of the two countries to facilitate consular services and provide facilities for those who want to visit the holy sites in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or perform Hajj and Umrah, and, further more, to facilitate the labor movement and trade exchange between the two countries.

The Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council concluded its second session on Thursday in Baghdad.

Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, chaired his country’s side to the meeting while Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Thamir Al-Ghadhban led the other side, in the presence of a number of senior Saudi officials.

The meeting reviewed the latest developments regarding the outputs of the Council committees and discussed the priorities of the next phase, its implementation plan and topics of the Council’s agenda.

Al-Qasabi underscored the importance of enhancing the joint cooperation between the two sides in important international and regional affairs, developing the partnership between the two countries in the private sector and allowing businessmen to explore the trade and investment opportunities.

Earlier, Iraqi President Barham Salih received Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi and the accompanying delegation, on the sidelines of the Second meeting of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi also met the Saudi economic delegation. During the meeting, they reviewed ways of enhancing and supporting bilateral relations between the two countries and a number of issues of mutual interest.

Saudi Minister of Culture visits cultural, historical landmarks

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Minister of Culture, accompanied by Iraqi Minister of Culture and Tourism Dr. Abdul Amir Al-Hamdani visited historic and cultural landmarks in Baghdad on Thursday.

The Saudi Minister of Culture toured several areas including Mutanabbi Street, Qishla, Abbasid palace, and a number of historical places.

This came during the visit of the Minister of Culture to Baghdad with the delegation of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council.