Fourteen Saudi Arabian companies will partake in the upcoming energy and industry fair in Iraq’s southern province of Basra, yet another sign of improving Saudi-Iraqi relations.
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Iraq, Abdul-Aziz bin Khaled al-Shamri, told Saudi paper Okaz that 14 Saudi firms will attend the Basra energy and industry fair early December, noting that energy giants Aramco, SABIC and Taqa will be among the attendance.
He added that the Saudi-Iraqi coordination council will hold its second session in Baghdad soon.
Relations between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and the Shia-dominated Iraqi government have been tensional over the past few years due to Saudi Arabia’s opposition to the involvement of Iraqi Shia paramilitary forces in the fight against Islamic State. Saudi Arabia has always been irritated by the influence of Shia Iran, its arch regional enemy, over Iraqi politics. But the past months have seen an obvious rapprochement between both countries, with top-level officials exchanging visits and expressing eagerness to boost political, security and economic cooperation.
In October, more than 60 Saudi companies attended the Baghdad International Exhibition.