Saudi’s King Salman Refills Diplomatic Vacuum with Iraq

Saudi’s King Salman Refills Diplomatic Vacuum with Iraq 

Last updated on August 29th, 2020

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is willing to invest $1 billion in Iraq for the development of the country and to build sports city, according to Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment, Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi.

As of now more details about the sports city have not been released.

Last year in March, former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said that the oil-rich kingdom would provide funds for the construction of a sports stadium in Baghdad, which would have a capacity of 100,000 people.

“[King Salman]…offered Saudi Arabia’s contribution to build a main stadium in Iraq that accommodates 100,000 people. We have welcomed the initiative and it was proposed today to the cabinet,” Al-Abadi had said.

Qasabi said a Saudi ministerial and business delegation will be discussing investment plans in Baghdad this week. The plans will be for some of Saudi’s largest companies like Aramco – which is the national petroleum and natural gas company of the kingdom, Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and the Maaden mining corporation.

During a news conference with Iraq’s oil minister, Thamir Al-Ghadhban, Qasabi mentioned that Riyadh is also working towards opening a consulate in Baghdad on Thursday to ease out visa procedures. He also said that three other consulates will be opened in different regions of the country at a later stage.

The sports city will be a “gift to Iraqis”, Qasabi said at the news conference.

After a long gap of 25 years, it was in the reign of King Salman when Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Baghdad in 2015. This flourished an opportunity for both the countries to fill in the diplomatic vacuum created over the years.

Along with Qasabi, Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, along with Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih were also a part of the Saudi delegation to Baghdad.

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