Saudi Shoura Speaker congratulates Iraq on restoring its regional, international role

Saudi Shoura Council Speaker Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh meets Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi in Baghdad on Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 20 April 2019
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Saudi Shoura Speaker congratulates Iraq on restoring its regional, international role

BAGHDAD: The speaker of the Shoura Council, Dr. Abdullah Al-Asheikh, on Saturday praised the efforts of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in strengthening Saudi-Iraqi relations.

Al-Asheikh was speaking at the Baghdad Summit of Parliaments of Neighboring Countries of Iraq.

The summit, hosted by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi, gathered top lawmakers from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait to discuss regional security, diplomacy and economic issues. Al-Asheikh said Saudi-Iraqi relations have recently developed after the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to Riyadh with a high-level delegation.

Al-Asheikh stressed the desire of both countries’ leaderships to promote bilateral relations and common interests.

“We are meeting today at this summit to celebrate the victory of brotherly Iraq over terrorism and the elimination of the Daesh terrorist organization,” he said. 

“My country has contributed to the efforts of the international coalition forces to eliminate it and enact more legislation and laws that criminalize it.”

Al-Halbousi said his country’s relations with neighboring states are strong, and Iraq intends to develop them. 

“Today, Iraq is building a promising strategic partnership with all neighboring countries without any reservations or favoring any party,” he added.

Visiting officials pledged support for reconstruction and development efforts in Iraq, and for the country’s continued stability following its victory over Daesh after three years of war, Al-Halbousi said.

Iraq continues to fight terror with regional and international assistance, he added, thanking all countries that have supported this fight. 

The summit dealt with a number of topics, notably strengthening parliamentary cooperation between Iraq and neighboring countries, and supporting regional efforts against terrorism.

Baghdad and Riyadh have been at loggerheads since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, but they have recently undertaken a diplomatic push to improve ties.


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.