Saudi Chief of Staff Fayyad bin Hamid Al-Ruwaili held talks in Baghdad on Tuesday with Iraqi officials on border security and issues of common interest.
Al-Ruwaili had arrived in the Iraqi capital at the head of a military delegation on the first visit of its kind on such a level.
He met with Defense Minister Juma Inad and his Iraqi counterpart Abdulamir Yarallah.
Saudi-Iraqi ties have witnessed a marked improvement in the past two years during which they formed a coordination council and officials exchanged visits. The most recent of these visits was one paid by the Iraqi interior and foreign ministers to Riyadh last week.
Military expert Sarmad al-Bayate told Asharq Al-Awsat that Al-Ruwaili’s visit complements the work of the coordination council.
He predicted that Saudi Arabia and Iraq will soon kick off high level security and defense cooperation, especially given that they share a long border.
Al-Ruwaili’s visit is part of the exchange of defense and security expertise between Riyadh and Baghdad, he added, highlighting their shared goal of fighting terrorism, especially the ISIS group.
Security expert Dr. Motaz Muhieddine told Asharq Al-Awsat that Al-Ruwaili’s visit was “very significant because it signals the beginning of complete coordination between the fraternal countries.”
Their greatest concern is protecting their shared border, he noted.