UAE Press: Ties that bind Saudi Arabia and Iraq

ABU DHABI, 11th December, 2017 (WAM) — A UAE newspaper has commented on the newly established joint body between Saudi Arabia and Iraq to coordinate their fight against Daesh, and to rebuild Iraqi territory wrested from the group, which was announced following a meeting on Sunday.

“The coming together of these two stalwarts of the Arab world is very good news for the region. The dream of Arab unity cannot be realised until Iraq is fully brought back into the Arab fold,” said Gulf News in an editorial on Monday.

The paper said, “Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz was very clear about his own thoughts and feelings for Iraq when he said ‘what links Saudi Arabia to Iraq is not just geography and common interests but ties of fraternity, blood, history and destiny.’ The ties are deep, and the bond unbreakable.”

The editorial went on to say that the meeting has also led to a slew of decisions aimed at strengthening political and economic ties, which will have a positive impact on the economies of both countries, especially Iraq, as it seeks to rebuild after the devastating war against the Daesh terrorists that has left major Iraqi cities in total ruin.

“Saudi assistance and investment will go a long way in helping Iraq recover, and provide some of its disgruntled citizens social and economic opportunities and the ability to build better lives for themselves and their children,” it said.

It continued, “Every diplomatic step only brings the two countries closer, and there have been quite a few in recent months. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir visited Baghdad in February for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi, the first such visit since 2003. Al Abadi visited Riyadh in June, followed by influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr.

“The new understanding between Riyadh and Baghdad will also help counter Iran’s pernicious influence and expansionism in the region. On his visit to the kingdom, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called out Tehran, and asked it to withdraw its militias from Iraq.”

The editorial added, “Iraq has fought a grinding and heroic battle against terrorism, and its efforts have not gone unnoticed. King Salman congratulated ‘brothers in Iraq on the achievements made in eradicating and defeating terrorism.'”

“Closer intelligence and security cooperation between Riyadh and Baghdad will ensure that extremism in our region is kept in check, and terrorism is not allowed to rear its ugly head,” concluded the Dubai-based daily.

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