Published: 2017-08-15 15:56
Last Updated: 2017-08-15 15:56
Saudi Arabia and Iraq have announced they will reopen the Arar border crossing for trade for the first time since 1990, Saudi local media reported on Tuesday.
The crossing was closed 27 years ago, after the countries cut ties following Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait,
Saudi and Iraqi officials toured the site on Monday, saying its reopening would be a “significant move” to boost ties between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
They spoke with Iraqi religious pilgrims, who have only had access to the crossing only once annually during the haj season since the border closed, the Mecca newspaper reported.
The governor of Iraq's southwestern Anbar province, whose staff was on hand for the ceremonies, said the Iraqi government had deployed troops to protect the desert route leading to Arar and called its opening a "significant move" to boost ties.
“This is a great start for further future cooperation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia,” said Rawi, adding that Iraqi government had deployed troops to protect the desert route leading to Arar.
The plan comes after a decision by the Saudi cabinet on Monday to establish a joint trade commission with Iraq.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are both attempting to strengthen ties with their northern neighbor, in an effort to impeded the growing regional influence of Iran.