JEDDAH: The visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to Saudi Arabia has been postponed after the hospitalization of King Salman on Monday.
The king was admitted to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh for some tests due to cholecystitis (inflammation in the gallbladder), the royal court said in a statement.
“In recognition of the importance of the visit and a desire to make it succeed, our wise leadership in coordination with our brothers in Iraq has decided to postpone the visit,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan wrote on Twitter.
The visit will be rescheduled after King Salman is discharged from hospital, he said.
In a tweet, Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman said Saudi Arabia and Iraq were both strategically important to each other.
“Iraq represents an important strategic dimension to the Kingdom and vice versa.”
تقدر المملكة اختيار رئيس الوزراء العراقي زيارتها كأول دولة بعد توليه منصبه، واحتفاءاً بهذه الزيارة البالغة الأهمية ورغبة في توفير كل سبل النجاح لها، آثرت قيادتنا الرشيدة، بالتنسيق مع أشقائنا في العراق، تأجيل الزيارة إلى ما بعد خروج مولاي خادم الحرمين الشريفين من المستشفى
— فيصل بن فرحان (@FaisalbinFarhan) July 20, 2020
He added: “It was therefore, natural for Riyadh to be the first stop in (Iraqi Prime Minister) Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s foreign visits,” he added.
Highlighting the importance of Saudi-Iraqi ties, Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan said the two countries share common history, culture and civilization.
Despite the postponement of the Iraqi prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, he added, the visiting Iraqi delegation is holding meetings with their Saudi counterparts to enhance ties. Saudi Arabia and Iraq signed investment agreements on energy and sports, the Kingdom’s state TV reported on Monday.
Despite the postponement of the visit, the Iraqi delegation is holding meetings with their Saudi counterparts to enhance ties.
Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Culture minister
The agreements were signed as part of the meetings of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council. They also inked deals on investment and education. The two sides also signed a memorandum in the health sector to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi prime minister tweeted: “I wish King Salman a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him at the earliest possible time, as we’ll reschedule my visit soon.”
He added: “Iraq’s relations with KSA are strong and based on mutual strategic interests and brotherly ties. I’m optimistic about the potential and future of our ties.”
Iraq’s oil, finance, electricity and planning ministers arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to begin meetings ahead of the premier’s visit.
يمثل العراق بعدًا استراتيجيًا هاماً للمملكة والعكس؛لذلك كان طبيعيًا أن تحل الرياض محطةً أولى في جدول زيارات السيد مصطفى الكاظمي،وقد آثرت قيادة البلدين تأجيلها إلى ما بعد خروج مولاي خادم الحرمين حفظه الله من المستشفى لمنحها المكانة اللائقة التي تستحقها كزيارة دولة من الطراز الرفيع
— Khalid bin Salman خالد بن سلمان (@kbsalsaud) July 20, 2020