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Saudi Arabia reopens Baghdad embassy after 25 years

Saudi Arabia reopens Baghdad embassy after 25 years

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Date: 1 January 2016 22:37

Saudi Arabia has reopened its embassy in Baghdad, having closed it 25 years ago, Spunik reported with the reference to Al-Arabiya TV.

Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Baghdad after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and renewed diplomatic ties in 2004 after the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein.

The new Saudi ambassador to Iraq, Thamer al-Sabhan, said that the new embassy is a step towards greater cooperation between the two countries in combating terrorism.

In December Saudi Arabia announced the formation of a broad anti-terror coalition of Sunni Muslim countries, to the surprise of some of the members it named, such as Malaysia and Pakistan. Iraq and Syria were not among the 34 countries that comprised the coalition; among those who made the cut were Qatar, Turkey and the UAE.

On Wednesday al-Sabhan told Al-Arabiya News that the kingdom still maintains its call for Saudi jihadi militants who have joined terrorist groups like Daesh (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra which operate in the region to hand themselves in to the Saudi authorities. He said that such individuals can expect greater leniency from the authorities when they return to the kingdom.

“Saudi Arabia treats those who hand themselves over differently than those arrested, and it takes this into consideration during trials. Saudi Arabia opens its arms to whomever desires to return home and the Saudi embassy in Iraq offers all its services to receive them, get them out of conflict zones and free them of ISIS' grip,” the ambassador said.

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