Riyadh and Baghdad set up joint committee for economic cooperation

22 October 2017
Saudi oil minister pledges energy partnership with Iraq

Saudi Arabia and Iraq have vowed to increase economic cooperation, especially in energy, following the visit of the Saudi oil minister to Baghdad.

Khalid al-Falih, who was attending the Baghdad International Exhibition, is the first senior Saudi official to have made an address in the Iraqi capital in decades, after tensions between both sides became troubled after the First Gulf War in 1990.

Cooperation between the two sides was contributing to the “the improvement and stability we are seeing in the oil market," he said.

A joint committee would be set up to "work on measures to speed up the establishment of an economic partnership and to reactivate cooperation and economic complementarity," he added.

Ties between both sides became strained after a post-Saddam Hussain Iraq, which has a significant Shia population, leaned closer to Iran for a political alliance.

Ties between Iraq and Iran showed signs of thawing earlier this year, following the rare visit in July of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to Jeddah, where he met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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