Ambassador of Baghdad to «Middle East» »: Relations will see a great start … The Iraqi delegation will include 10 ministers and 60 advisers
Saturday – 1 Safar 1439 AH – 21 October 2017 AD Issue Number 
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Iraqi Prime Minister meet in June (Photo: Bandar Al-Ghaloud)
Riyadh: Abdel Hadi Habtoor
Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Haider al-Abbadi arrived today in Riyadh, heading a high-level delegation of more than a dozen ministers, officials and advisers in the Iraqi government to attend the signing ceremony of the agreement of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council on Sunday.
The ambassador of Iraq in Riyadh, Dr. Rushdi al-Ani told Asharq Al-Awsat that Dr. Abadi “will arrive tomorrow (today) to Riyadh with a high delegation of 10 ministers of the most important ministries and about 60 advisers.” He added: «The agreement (signed by the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council) will be held and a press conference will be held, then bilateral meetings will be held between the officials of the two countries. The Saudi side will be headed by Dr. Majid al-Qasabi and from the Iraqi side, Dr. Sulaiman al-Jumaili. “
Al-Ani stressed that the relations between the two countries will witness a great start after the announcement of this high-level council. “We have all been very pleased to see the first Saudi Arabian Airlines fly, with more than 200 Saudi businessmen and officials, and how the Iraqis were delighted to be given the largest space at the Baghdad International Fair.”
The agenda of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council program includes several programs and events over the next two days, hosted by the Saudi capital Riyadh, as well as cultural events culminating in a dinner. Tomorrow, the program will include a meeting of the Coordination Council, exchanging gifts and taking commemorative photographs, a press conference to be held by the council’s presidents, as well as side events.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, has made two phone calls during the past few days Abadi. It was reported that the communication dealt with the bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields and means of strengthening and developing them through the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council.
US State Department spokeswoman Heather Neuert said in a briefing on Thursday that Secretary of State Rex Tilerson would travel to Riyadh, Doha, Islamabad, New Delhi and Geneva from October 20 to 27. “Minister Tillerson will participate in the inaugural meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Council,” she said. She noted that Tillerson will meet with the Saudi leadership to discuss the conflict in Yemen, the Qatari crisis, Iran, and other important regional and bilateral issues.
The break-up in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq accelerated after Abadi visited Riyadh in June and met with Saudi officials, four months after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir visited Baghdad.
The Saudi cabinet approved in a meeting chaired by Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince, on August 13, the approval of the minutes of the establishment of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, and the delegation of the Minister of Trade and Investment, the President of the Saudi side in the Council, The record.
The two countries agreed to establish a coordination council in order to upgrade the bilateral relations to the strategic and hoped-for level, in addition to opening new horizons of cooperation in various fields, including political, security, economic, developmental, commercial, investment, tourism and cultural.
A joint statement issued by the two countries at the time pointed out that the Coordination Council will activate the partnership between the private sector in both countries, and follow up the implementation of the agreements and memorandums of understanding to achieve common goals.
Officials in both countries announced in mid-August that they had agreed to return life to the land crossing between Saudi Arabia and Iraq after a break of more than 27 years. “The agreement on many investments and projects that serve the two countries, and signed a memorandum of understanding on air transport between them,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted the acting Saudi embassy in Iraq as saying.
He added that «with the beginning of the activation of the crossing will be developing the implementers to serve the commercial movement and passenger traffic». And then «Middle East» movement at the new crossing Arar between Saudi Arabia and Iraq with the opening coincided with the influx of convoys of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.