Saudi Arabia's Chargé D'affaires in Iraq Abdulaziz al-Shammari listened to Asharq Al-Awsat’s questions regarding the acceleration of the pace of rapprochement between Riyadh and Baghdad and its future prospects and impact on the peoples of both countries.
Following his visit to Jadida Arar border with Iraq, where he held talks with Baghdad’s ambassador to Riyadh, Shammari stressed that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince have given directives to consider Iraq in all its classes and categories without discriminating between sects.
“The Saudi government is planning to implement large projects in Iraq to support the economy in the country, motivating the private sector and Saudi companies to enter the Iraqi market, start businesses there and seize opportunities,” Shammari said.
Any entry to a Saudi investor will be made through the Iraqi government, and there will be a lot of guarantees for investors and sites where they will invest in Iraq, Shammari confirmed.
The first phase will embrace projects implemented by the government of the Saudi leadership, so that it plays a significant role in supporting the Iraqi economy.
Despite acknowledging that the Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement will face some challenges, yet Shammari confirmed that the Iraqi citizen and the political leadership in Iraq have become aware of the sincerity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and how some countries took advantage of the disrupted relation between the two countries, where their two peoples had the biggest losses.
“I expect that the Saudi-Iraqi relations in the next phase will be perfect and unprecedented, relations have been cut off for more than 27 years, and what I noticed from the leadership of the two countries is a race to develop and to discuss all the ways to strengthen these relations,” he said, noting that it will be a strategic partnership and in the interest of the two countries.
Saudi Arabia's Chargé D'affaires in Iraq also talked about his personal security in Baghdad, and the role played by the rapprochement in reducing sectarianism in the region.
Regarding the Saudi delegation’s activity in Baghdad and what it is doing currently there, Shammari said that the delegation is residing in al-Rasheed Hotel and is carrying out all its diplomatic activities as it is receiving businessmen, Iraqi citizens, Iraqi MPs and politicians from different sects.
“As you know, Iraq is a country of different components, and this is an advantage. It has more than one religion and more than one component that are united by one state. This has been the case for thousands of years,” he said.