Iraq and Saudi Arabia have signed 18 memorandums of understanding in the energy field during the kingdom’s participation in an energy exhibition in Iraq.
The signing of the 18 memorandums of understanding came after Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh inaugurated the seventh edition of the Basra oil and gas exhibition, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
It quoted the minister saying that 22 Saudi companies took part in the exhibition which comes to reinforce the “strategic partnership” between the two countries.
He said enhanced relations and energy cooperation between both countries will help bring stability to the international oil market, with both being prominent OPEC members.
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.
In July, both countries established a joint coordination council to boost ties on all levels.