Politics & Economics

Saudi Arabia, Iraq sign air transport agreement

Middle East

Saudi Arabia and Iraq have signed an air transport agreement to hold regular and direct flights between the two countries. The agreement is part of a wider initiative to develop relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in various fields.

Saudi Arabia and Iraq signed an air transport agreement during the first meeting of the Transport, Border Outlets and Ports Committee at the Saudi-Iraqi Coordinating Council in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed by Saudi Transport Minister Nabil al-Amoudi and Iraqi Transport Minister Kazim al-Hamami.

The two sides affirmed their commitment to the previously agreed executive plan, which started with regular and direct flights between the two countries.

They also agreed on the importance of concluding a cooperation agreement in the field of maritime transport to enhance transport services between the two countries’ ports, facilitate and develop them.

These include supporting logistics services and they pointed the importance of the shipping line between King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam and Umm Qasr port in Basra along with future shipping lines to transport containers between the two countries.

Regarding the increase in bilateral trade exchange, the two sides agreed to study the possibility of granting preferential treatment in terms of cargo handling between the Saudi and Iraqi ports and forming joint task forces of specialists to prepare the study of rail link and the development of road-linked routes.

They stressed the need to conclude an agreement to regulate the transport of passengers and goods on the roads between the two countries, contribute to the entry of loaded buses and trucks without intermediary and facilitate the process of granting the drivers entry visas.

The minutes of the meeting noted the importance of signing a memorandum of understanding for customs cooperation and one for the development of Arar Iraqi border crossing.

The Saudi Ministry of Transport is currently developing the road connecting the city of Arar and the Jadidah Arar border crossing and rehabilitating it completely.

“The signing of the air transport agreement between the two countries is the result of the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his Crown Prince to promote and develop relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in various fields,” Amoudi said.

“This is what we have been working on in the transport system in cooperation with the Iraqi side and is reflected in boosting bilateral trade exchange and developing economic cooperation to reach an effective partnership in the maritime, air and land transport system.”

They agreed to form bilateral working groups, which will meet periodically to discuss and follow up issues of mutual interest in the fields of transport, border crossings, roads and ports.

Image: Asharq Al-Awsat

Article: Asharq Al-Awsat