It all started when Iraqi army under the leadership of Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Responding to the invasion, many Gulf countries cut off their ties with Iraq. And one of those countries was Saudi Arabia. Since 1990, Saudi Arabia had closed its borders with Iraq, but now there are plans to open the Arar border crossing. The opening of the border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Iraq will promote trade and tourism and boost cultural and social interactions. Officials from Saudi Arabia and Iraq have already visited the border crossing site and have evaluated the possibility to re-open the border. The officials also met with Iraqi religious pilgrims. It may be recalled that only these pilgrims were allowed to use the border crossing. And it was just once in a year during the Haj season.
The governor of Iraq’s southwestern Anbar province said that they have deployed troops in order to protect the desert route that leads to Arar. He said that the re-opening of the border crossing is a significant milestone for both the countries. “This is a great start for further future cooperation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia,” said Sohaib al-Rawi. Earlier, the Saudi cabinet had taken a decision to create a joint trade commission with Iraq. The opening of the border crossing is the follow up to that decision.