Oct. 23, 2022

Revival of key border crossing shows shift in Iraq-Saudi ties

Iraq/Economy

A new phase of Iraqi-Saudi relations has begun, marked by efforts to strengthen ties between the neighbors. For several decades the relationship between Baghdad and Riyadh was marred by waves of tension, turmoil, and mutual recrimination. But relations have warmed in recent years and continue to improve. High-profile diplomatic visits have taken place, while both countries have undertaken efforts to boost political and economic coordination as well as in the field of tourism.

Part of the rapprochement has involved the steady opening-up of border crossings. Closed following then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s (1979-2003) invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the Arar border was initially reopened in Nov. 2020. However, exchanges were limited to cargo and goods and only open to pilgrims for specific days of the Haj pilgrimage. In September, the Jadidat Arar land crossing was also opened for Iraqis traveling to Saudi Arabia for the Umrah pilgrimage. Opening the crossing for even...

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Zaid Al-Aseel
Zaid Al-Aseel
Zaid Al-Aseel is an award-winning Iraqi Journalist based in the southern governorate of Babylon. He has ... Full Bio
فارسیPersian
فارسیPersian
عربيArabic
عربيArabic