BAGHDAD – A senior Iraqi security official Wednesday hailed improving security ties with Saudi Arabia.
Deputy Interior Minister Adnan Al-Assadi said Baghdad and Riyadh had already discussed working together on measures against terrorism, illegal narcotics, organized crime and cross-border smuggling, and would soon hold talks on prisoner exchanges.
Assadi said in a statement published on the interior ministry’s website that he was “very optimistic that this cooperation will be the beginning of a new phase of openness between the two countries on political, economic and security issues.”
Assadi continued: “Things have started to move again lately with Saudi Arabia’s announcement of the appointment of a non-resident ambassador to Iraq. It seems that the gate of cooperation between the two countries will be through security.”
It came after a visit to Saudi Arabia by Assadi and Iraqi National Security Adviser Falah Al-Fayadh.
Assadi said Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan Al-Shammari is to visit Riyadh to discuss prisoner transfers. A justice ministry official said the trip would take place next week, but did not give details.
According to officials from Iraq’s ministries of interior and justice, there are 387 Arab prisoners in Iraq’s jails, most of whom are from Saudi Arabia, but the officials did not give precise details. – Reuters