Renewed Relations: Saudi Arabia To Reopen Iraqi Embassy

After 25 years of stalled political relations, things appear to be looking up between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, as the Saudis make plans to open an embassy in Iraq for the first time in 25 years.

According to Today, a delegation from Saudi Arabia is planning to travel to Baghdad in the next week with plans to re-open an embassy. The team plans to start work on the embassy “at the earliest opportunity.”

The Saudis also plan to open a consulate in Arbil, the capital of Kurdistan. The renewed relations come at a time when strengthened alliances are necessary in the fight against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria.

The Saudi embassy in Iraq was closed in 1990 following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. The Saudis have long felt the Iraqi government was too close an ally with Iran, the main regional rival for Saudi Arabia.

According to Iraqi security analyst Mustafa Alani, the shift in relations was due to the appointment of Haider al-Abadi as Iraq’s prime minister, as well as the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Saudi Arabia had previously labeled al-Habdi’s predecessor, Nuri al-Maliki, a puppet of the Iranian government.

“The Saudis think there is a gap now. If they leave Mr Abadi without help, he will be forced to go to the Iranians. With the change of leadership, change of circumstances, they think that it’s time to bring back Iraq… to the Arab fold and to reduce the Iranian influence.”

The thawing of relations between the longtime rivals comes amid concern over the health of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. The New York Times recently reported King Abdullah was suffering from pneumonia and needed a temporary breathing tube.

The Saudi Government released a statement this week confirming King Abdullah’s ill health while claiming he was in stable condition. No information has been released regarding Abdullah’s prognosis or release date.

Abdullah turned 90 in August, and has battled a long list of health problems. He was most recently diagnosed with a lung infection, and was admitted to King Abdulaziz Medical City Hospital on Wednesday.

As an absolute monarchy, King Abdullah remains in power until he either passes away or abdicates his throne. Abdullah’s half brother, Crown Prince Salman, has been acting in the king’s stead. Salman recently stood in for Abdullah as Saudi Arabia’s representative at a summit amongst Persian Gulf countries in Qatar last month.

[Photo courtesy of]

Share this article: Renewed Relations: Saudi Arabia To Reopen Iraqi Embassy
More from Inquisitr