Riyadh (UNA-OIC) – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deputy premier and defense minister, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi held official talks on Wednesday at the Royal Court in Al-Yamamah Palace, Riyadh.
A joint statement was issued following the talks session, and was carried by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as follows:
Emanating from the firm and historical fraternal ties and bonds that bind the two brotherly countries and peoples of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Iraq, and to enhance the relations between them on firm foundations and principles, topped by Arab and Islamic brotherhood, good neighborhood and common interests, and in response to the gracious invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi paid an official visit to the Kingdom on March 31, 2021.
A session of official talks was held between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, where they discussed prospects of cooperation between the two brotherly countries and ways to enhance them in all fields. They also exchanged views on issues of concern to both countries at the regional and international arenas, in a way that contributes to supporting and enhancing security and stability in the region and the world at large.
The two sides praised the results of the virtual meeting held between the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Prime Minister of Iraq on March 25, 2021. They emphasized the importance of the issues discussed and the understanding reached during that meeting, especially with regard to strengthening relations between the Kingdom and Iraq as well as enhancing the work of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council.
The Saudi crown prince and Iraqi prime minister expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation and coordination between Riyadh and Baghdad. They stressed their determination to continue to deepen the cooperation and coordination, with the view to serving mutual interests in various fields, especially political, security, military, commercial, investment, cultural and touristy areas.
The two leaders hailed the achievements of the Iraqi-Saudi Coordination Council and the agreements and memoranda of understanding concluded. They underlined the importance of urging the ministries and relevant authorities on both sides to follow-up and activate aspects of cooperation in a way that allows optimal investment for all available capabilities and opportunities to enhance integration between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, solidarity in facing common challenges, and build on the positive results previously achieved during mutual visits that took place between officials of the two countries over the last period.
As regards the level of bilateral relations, the two parties affirmed their keenness on bilateral cooperation in various fields, activating the agreements and memoranda of understanding reached between the Kingdom and Iraq, and urging the ministries and relevant authorities in the two countries to exert more efforts to ensure the speedy completion and implementation of these agreements.
Both leaders also stressed the continuation of joint cooperation and coordination in facing the threat of extremism and terrorism, as they are considered a threat to the countries of the region and the world. They pointed out that facing such threats comes through the exchange of expertise and experiences between the relevant security authorities and centers in the two countries.
The Saudi crown prince and Iraqi premier agreed to continue supporting Baghdad’s efforts in cooperation with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. They also stressed the importance of joint cooperation in securing the safety of borders between the two countries.
The two sides agreed on the following:
- Establishing a joint Saudi-Iraqi fund with an estimated capital of US$3 billion, as a contribution from Saudi Arabia in promoting investment in economic fields in Iraq for the benefit of the Saudi and Iraqi economies, with the participation of the two countries’ private sectors.
- Cooperating in the fields of energy and renewable energy as well as activating and accelerating the joint action plan, under the umbrella of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, with the need to continue coordinating the positions of the two countries in the petroleum field, within the scope of work of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and OPEC+ arrangement, with full commitment to the requirements of the agreement, the compensation mechanism and all the decisions that have been agreed upon so as to ensure the stability of the global oil markets.
- Completion of the electrical grid, citing its importance for the two countries.
- Enhancing coordination in the field of mutual support within the framework of multilateral diplomacy.
- Promoting investment opportunities for Saudi companies and inviting them to expand their activities in Iraq in various fields as well as in the reconstruction efforts.
- Iraq appreciated the participation of Saudi Arabia in the Kuwait Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq held on 12-14 February 2018, citing the Kingdom’s pledges and contribution during the event.It was agreed that the two sides coordinate to find out ways and aspects of the aforementioned support. Iraq also appreciated the initiatives provided by Saudi Arabia for Iraq in confronting the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
Iraq also commended the announcement by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Saudi Green and Middle East Green initiatives, scheduled to be launched soon as they reflect the determination of Saudi Arabia and the region in protecting the Earth and nature, in order to achieve the global goals, with emphasis on working with the Kingdom for achieving these initiatives and their goals.
Several bilateral agreements were signed, including an agreement to avoid double taxation, an agreement for cooperation in the field of development planning for economic diversification and private sector development and an agreement on financing Saudi exports.
Two memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and cooperation were also signed, including an MoU between the Iraqi Media Network and the Saudi Broadcasting Authority and a memorandum of cooperation between King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives of the Kingdom and Iraq National Library and Archives.
With regard to regional issues, the two sides agreed to intensify cooperation, coordination and exchange of views on issues of common interest to both countries at the regional and international arenas, in a way that contributes to supporting and strengthening security and stability in the region, with the need to keep it away from tensions, and the joint endeavor to lay down the foundations of sustainable security and stability.
The two sides stressed the security, safety and stability of the region and urged all neighboring countries to adhere to the principles of good neighborliness, common interests and non-interference in the internal affairs of countries.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi affirmed supporting Saudi Arabia’s initiative to end the crisis in Yemen. He expressed thanks and appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as to the Saudi government for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his accompanying delegation.