After 40 years, Iraq and Saudi Arabia sign new security MOU
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Top officials from the ministries of the interior of both Iraq and Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed a new memorandum of understanding for the first time after 40 years.
Iraqi Minister of Interior Abdul Amir Al-Shammari on Saturday arrived in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, along with a top delegation and was received by his counterpart of the Gulf country, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz.
The two sides discussed enhancing cooperation between the two ministries in matters related to security issues, and signed a memorandum of understanding, the Iraqi and Saudi state news agencies reported.
The MoU entails “all forms of security cooperation, exchange of points of views, and undertaking joint security activities,” the Iraqi state media reported, adding the deal is the “first of its kind since 1983” between the countries.
Top anti-narcotic drugs officials attended the meeting as well. Saudi Arabia and Iraq routinely confiscate large amounts of illicit drugs, which they believe are transported through the porous borders in the region.
Captagon, a trading name for an amphetamine-type stimulant, is one type of drug that both authorities have seized. Last year, Saudi Arabian authorities recovered more than six million pills of the drug.
The agreement comes as Iraq is normalizing ties with the Gulf countries following decades of isolation. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have pledged billions worth of investments in the Iraqi economy.
Iraq and Saudi Arabia share an 800-kilometer border.
Following the invasion of Kuwait by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 1990, Saudi Arabia shut down the only border crossing, Arar, it had with Iraq. It took both countries 30 years to reopen it in 2020.