After over 25 years of partial closure, the Jadidah Arar crossing near Iraq's border with Saudi Arabia is reopened. Obviously,
Saudi Arabia seeks to increase its trade volume with Iraq, refresh the economy and
facilitate the movement of Iraqi pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
Former Anbar Governor Suhaib al-Rawi told German DPA that the crossing, which lies 600 kilometers west of Baghdad, has been permanently opened for travelers and trade.
Charge d'affaires of the Saudi embassy in Baghdad Abdul Aziz al-Shamari described the border crossing's opening as "a special day in the history of Saudi-Iraqi relations."
Shamari said that such a step came as a result of the Iraqi ministers' visits to the Kingdom during the past few months and the meetings during which Saudi Arabia and Iraq agreed on many projects and investments that serve the interests of the two countries.
Shamari confirmed that the Jadidah Arar border crossing was only used to receive pilgrims during the previous years. The crossing is 15 kilometers from the Iraqi border.
Saudi Arabia and Iraq are linked by two crossings, the other being Jamima near Rafha in Saudi Arabia. However, the Jadidah Arar port has been considered the official and reliable crossing between the two countries for more than 50 years.
The crossing was closed in 1991 during the Gulf War and has been limited during the past years to facilitate the entry of Iraqi pilgrims.
Saudi-Iraqi relations have been revived due to the influx of Iraqi officials in Riyadh, by official and special invitations, including Sadrist Movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr and former Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji.
The volume of trade exchange between the two countries hit 5 billion riyals ($1.33 billion) in 2013.
The Saudi cabinet decided in 2017 to launch a joint trade committee between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The opening of the Jadidah Arar crossing, which had been closed for about 28 years, is also a good sign of improvement of trade and economic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
The Saudi cabinet decided earlier to establish a joint coordination committee between the two countries, "appointing the minister of trade and investment to sign on behalf of the kingdom," the official SPA news agency said in a statement.
Former Anbar Governor Suhaib al-Rawi announced the opening of the Jadidah Arar border crossing between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Rawi revealed high-level coordination between the two countries to secure pilgrims and passengers, adding that the Iraqi government assigned large numbers of Iraqi army forces and border guards to protect the desert road leading to the Jadidah Arar crossing.
Explosive detectors were provided to secure the road, Rawi said, adding that military aircraft will also be active to thwart any attempts by ISIS to carry out terrorist operations.