Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet has given the go ahead for discussions with Iraq to open a land border crossing for trade between the countries for the first time in 27 years.
During a session on Tuesday, the Cabinet authorised the minister of finance to work “with the Iraqi side a draft agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Iraq on establishment of Iraqi Arar Port.”
The border has officially been closed since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. However, Iraqis have still been able to use the crossing for tehir Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages.
The move comes amid strengthening ties between the two countries as Saudi Arabia seeks to counter the influence of rival Iran.
In August, the Saudi Cabinet approved the establishment of a joint trade council, which held its first meeting on October 22.
The two sides agreed to develop ports, roads and border areas and conduct studies to establish a trade zone.
This week state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines said it would resume flights to Iraq after 27 years, following a similar announcement from budget airline Flynas.