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Baghdad trade fair strengthens Saudi-Iraqi economic ties

The Iraqi and the Saudi oil ministers Jabar al-Luaibi and Khalid al-Falih open the Baghdad International Exhibition in Baghdad on October 21, 2017. (REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily)
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia showcased its strong participation at the 44th Baghdad International Fair on Saturday.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and Iraqi Trade Minister Salman Al-Jumaili were among prominent figures at the inauguration of the fair running from Oct. 21 to 30 in which 18 countries and 400 local and international companies are taking part.
Al-Jumaili said that the launch of the fair coincides with the complete liberation of many Iraqi areas. “This is a clear and true message that Iraq is ready to cooperate in the fields of investment and reconstruction and is capable of fighting and combating terrorism and strengthening its relationships through real and constructive partnerships,” he said.
Al-Falih said over 60 Saudi companies are taking part in the fair which highlights the high level of Saudi participation.
He stressed “the strong cultural and economic historical bonds” between the two countries.
Saudi Exports Development Authority (SEDA) Secretary-General Saleh Al-Salami said Saudi participation emphasized the political and economic openness between the two countries.
In a separate development, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Riyadh on Saturday to attend a landmark meeting between officials from Saudi Arabia and Iraq aimed at improving relations between the two countries and countering Iran’s growing regional influence.
Improved relations between the two countries led to Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) announcing its first flight to Baghdad on Oct. 30, according to Sabq.
This will be the first flight after 27 years of interruption.
On Wednesday, Saudi budget airline, Flynas, made a similar flight from the Kingdom to Iraq.