Saudi Arabia Opens Embassy in Iraq

Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Baghdad (Iraq), after 25 years. The Saudi consulate in the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan region Erbil will open shortly after the embassy in Baghdad.

In September, the Iraqi government reportedly granted visas to employees of the diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia.

current affairsSaudi Arabia closed its embassy in Iraq and broke off relations with Baghdad in 1990 following the invasion of neighboring Kuwait during the rule of late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Saudi Arabia appointed a non-resident ambassador to Baghdad in 2012, but relations between the two countries remained strained during Nuri Maliki’s premiership in Iraq until 2014.

The sources said the reaction from Iraqi political circles toward normalizing ties with Riyadh have been “positive.”

Diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq were severed in 1990 but restored in 2004 after the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein.

Saudi Ambassador to Iraq Thamer Al-Sabhan announced that the Kingdom’s diplomatic mission to the country will begin in the next two days with the first batch of diplomatic staff, at the level of Charge’ D’affaires, set to arrive in the country.

Relations remain strained between the Gulf kingdom, a Sunni powerhouse, and Shiite-dominated Iraq, where Iran and armed groups loyal to it wield huge influence.

Iraqi officials have repeatedly accused Riyadh of abetting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, which took over swathes of the country last year.