Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia to expand cooperation on borders: Minister
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Interior Minister Qassim al-Araji announced that his government is expanding cooperation with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to increase security across the countries' shared borders.
According to the minister, enhanced collaboration, including intelligence-sharing, will be boosted considerably in 2018 to ensure fighters from the Islamic State (IS) do not regain a foothold in any border regions.
“The post-Daesh [IS] era requires us to firmly secure our borders,” al-Araji said in a Monday speech in the holy Iraqi city of Karbala. “We are cooperating closely with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, along with Jordan, in this regard.”
Iraq's Interior Ministry is tasked with providing security for all the country's borders, border crossings, and airports.
Hundreds of people gathered in Baghdad following Friday prayer to voice their opposition to an alleged upcoming visit by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Many held signs calling bin Salman a war criminal, with others blaming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for crimes committed by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.
In response, the Saudi Foreign Ministry released a statement on Saturday saying there was “no truth” to reports of an imminent visit by bin Salman, and that “the two brotherly countries” had witnessed “positive developments recently in all fields.”
The office of the Iraqi Prime Minister had previously stated that the Crown Prince was planning to visit Iraq in the near future, but a date had not yet been set.
In Monday's speech, al-Araji also said that the Interior Ministry was developing the security plan for upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled to be held across Iraq on May 12.