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Iraq army chief of staff arrives in Saudi Arabia

Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army, Lieutenant-General Othman Al-Ghanmi [Dominique A. Pineiro/jcs.mil]

Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army, Lieutenant-General Othman Al-Ghanmi, arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday as part of a senior military delegation, the New Khaleej news website reported.

Al-Ghanmi's visit comes on the back of an invitation issued to him by his Saudi counterpart Major General Abdul Rahman Bin Saleh during his visit to Baghdad in July.

The military leaders will discuss cooperation in the field of fighting terrorism, opening crossings and challenges faced while ensuring the safety and security of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

This visit is the first such visit by a senior Iraqi military official in more than two decades and an important step towards reinforcing relations between the two countries and exchanging intelligence information, the news site stated.

Saudi-Iraqi relations began to improve after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir visited Baghdad on 25 February. It was the first such visit in 14 years.

Read: Saudi and Iraqi leaders draw closer

In June, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi visited Saudi Arabia for the first time since taking up his post in 2014. He met with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz.

At the end of the visit, Riyadh and Baghdad agreed to establish a cooperation council to promote mutual relations to a strategic level.

Earlier this week, Iraq and Saudi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to resume flights between the two countries for the first time in 25 years. The flights are to take off from 30 October.

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IraqMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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