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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 January 2019

King Salman meets with Iraqi speaker of parliament

Trade set to increase after opening borders between the two countries

Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and the speaker of Iraq's parliament Mohammed Al Halbousi arrive at the parliament building in Baghdad, Iraq, October 24, 2018. Reuters
Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and the speaker of Iraq's parliament Mohammed Al Halbousi arrive at the parliament building in Baghdad, Iraq, October 24, 2018. Reuters

King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia met with the Iraqi speaker of Parliament Mohammed Al Halbousi in Riyadh on Monday to discuss strengthening bilateral ties.

Mr Al Halbousi said Saudi Arabia's stance has been pivotal in the rebuilding of Iraq after years of war and a three-year occupation of ISIS.

He added that Iraq will look to Riyadh for support as it begins a phase of rebuilding a country torn by a brutal war with ISIS.

"Iraq has overcome a challenging time. Saudi Arabia has supported us and invested in eliminating the terrorist entity of ISIS from many areas and cities in Iraq," Saudi state news agency reported Mr Halbousi as saying.

The Iraqi official also met the Head of the Saudi Shura council, Dr Sheikh Abdullah Al Sheikh, who said that cooperation between the two countries will improve drastically upon opening the border.

Saudi Arabia and Iraq said they will be opening the Arar crossing in months. No specific time has been given.

The two also discussed investment opportunities.

Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries pledged billions in aid to Iraq in a fund-raising conference held by Kuwait in 2017.

Updated: December 17, 2018 07:08 PM

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