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 Integration and Cooperation Between Saudi Arabia and Iraq: A Strategic Direction Supported by The Leadership of Our Country

calendar 12/5/2017 12:00 PM


His Excellency Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Export Development Authority accompanied by the Iraqi Oil Minister Eng. Jabbar Al-Luaibi attended yesterday in the Iraqi city of Basra the signing ceremony of 18 memorandums of understanding between Saudi and Iraqi companies in the field of energy, while officially opening the 7th Iraq Oil & Gas Show. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a guest of honor, attended the show with a delegation of 22 exhibitors and participants in the fields of energy and associated industries.

H.E. Al-Falih delivered a speech following the signing ceremony, which began by congratulating "the beloved Iraqi leadership, government and people, on their recent victories over the forces of evil and terror, asking God to protect Iraq and save it unified and secure, knowing that security is the first and major basis for development".

His Excellency praised "the serious efforts exerted by the government to advance Iraq and invest its resources in achieving a comprehensive development. The love for Iraq and its people drives us to look forward to participating in this developmental process, especially as it coincides with the comprehensive development efforts being witnessed in the Kingdom within the Saudi Vision 2030, and its various executive programs. Both our countries are determined to build a promising future for their peoples, develop their economies, invest in resources, build human capacities and sustainable national and global partnerships that support the achievement of these goals".

The Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Export Development Authority, said that Saudi Arabia and Iraq "share strategic advantages including human resources, a geographical location, energy, natural and mineral resources and current and potential industries", pointing out that "these features, some similar while other integrated, constitute a solid basis for a cooperation that has recently began motivating us to seize the historic opportunity in order to build an effective partnership and achieve our aspirations".

His Excellency stressed that "all these ties and advantages have made the cooperation and integration with Iraq a primary strategic direction in the top priorities of the kingdom with great attention and support from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who both believe that the stability and development of Iraq will reflect in the prosperity and development of the Kingdom, hoping to accelerate the development of relations between them".

Al-Falih pointed out that this direction "with the two countries determined to ensure the success of their strategic partnership, was reflected in forming the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council and its recent meeting in Riyadh in the presence of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Prime Minister Dr. Haider Al-Abadi. His Highness, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, assured that he will personally follow up the work of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, keen for the interest of the growth, development and stability of Iraq in all human, political, security and economic aspects.  I would like also to pay tribute to the continued meetings between the two countries and the visit of my colleague and brother, the Iraqi Minister of Oil to the Kingdom".

Eng. Al-Falih, spoke to Iraqi officials and investors in the fields of energy and gas saying: "Allow me to dwell on one of the most important examples of the success and effectiveness of the cooperation between the two countries, with what we have seen of them investing their political and regional weight as well as their position as the most prominent leaders of the global oil industry to support the stability and balance trend seen in the oil market during the past period and achieving a great coordination between OPEC members and other oil producers. We are confident that the continuation of this cooperation and collaboration will yield further achievements and greater stability and balance to the oil market".

His Excellency stressed "the unlimited opportunities for cooperation with areas for experience exchange, for collaboration in the oil and gas industry, for exploitation of renewable energy sources and for cooperation in opening new markets and boosting the exports between the two countries. Our deep conviction of this made us keen for the Kingdom to have a significant presence in the Baghdad International Exhibition last October - with my congratulations on its amazing success - and to participate today in the Basra Oil and Gas Exhibition 2017 with 22 companies from the oil and gas sector".

The Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources concluded his speech with a message: "The message we, in the Kingdom, wish to convey to our brothers in Iraq, this great country with its people, heritage and potentials, is that we see our solidarity and cooperation as a vital strategic depth for our two countries that doubles our chances of success, development and well-being. It is an irreplaceable option for building a bright future for our peoples and our region. We extend our trust and determination to our brothers in this brotherly country to work together to achieve the aspirations of our leaders and the hopes of our peoples. We are confident that God will reward our efforts with the best for our two countries and peoples, as He will not allow to be lost the reward of anyone who did well in deeds".

For his part, Iraqi Oil Minister Eng. Jabbar Al-Luaibi welcomed the outstanding participation of the Saudi companies in the Basra Exhibition and expressed his optimism with the upcoming horizons of cooperation and partnership coming with the signing of these memorandums that will enhance the relations between the two countries, pointing out that Basra is one of the important energy capitals in the world and the region and can facilitate broad partnerships with senior investors.

His Excellency Al-Luaibi stressed that Saudi Arabia is one of the most important regional and global investors, pointing out that the Iraqi government and the Ministry of Oil are looking forward to activating the cooperation and joint work with Saudi companies in order to enhance the economy of the two countries.

For his part, Secretary-General of the Saudi Export Development Authority "Saudi Exports", Mr. Saleh Al-Solami said that the Saudi participation in the Basra Oil & Gas Exhibition will boost the volume of trade exchange between the two countries after the positive participation of the Authority at the Baghdad International Exhibition within a significant pavilion of 60 Saudi companies representing several economic sectors in the Kingdom. The Exhibition represented an economic gateway and a platform for economic communication between the two countries serving producers and exporters from both sides and providing an ideal opportunity to showcase the investment opportunities between the two countries. Adding: "for our part, we seek to overcome the obstacles to producers and facilitate the export procedures between Saudi Arabia and Iraq".

Al-Solami clarified that the decision to head towards the Iraqi market came within the efforts of "Saudi Exports" to boost non-oil exports in the Iraqi market in particular and the international markets in general while providing the tools and means that contribute to overcoming the obstacles to Saudi national products.

It is worth mentioning that the 60-sponsor Basra Oil and Gas Exhibition hosted about 1300 international participant companies and had a scientific program on its sidelines with about 120 worksheets offering a wide range of opportunities for international investors. With more than 8,000 visitors during the last six sessions since its launch in 2010, the exhibition this year was launched under the auspices of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and is the largest and only event in the Republic of Iraq to represent the oil and gas industry.

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