Iraq-Saudi Border Crossing Opens for First Time in 30 Years
A border crossing between Iraq and Saudi Arabia opened for trade for the first time in 30 years. The Arar border crossing opened on Wednesday, allowing cargo trucks through, Al Jazeera reported. The crossing was closed in 1990 in response to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. The crossing has opened only on rare occasions since then to allow Iraqi pilgrims to travel to Mecca for the hajj. Saudi Arabia and Iraq began re-establishing relations some four years ago, beginning with the opening of a Saudi Embassy in Baghdad. The countries also have reinstituted commercial flights and signed investment agreements on energy and sports, Arab News reported. The opening of the border crossing and the resumption of trade could help Iraq get back on its feet economically. “We welcome all Iraqi products to be exported to Saudi Arabia and, through this border, there will be an exchange of visits between the two countries,” Saudi Ambassador to Iraq Abdul Aziz Al-Shammari said at the opening of the crossing.