A high-level business delegation from Saudi Arabia will be visiting Erbil on Monday to meet with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials, a source in the Kingdom’s consulate in Erbil told Kurdistan 24.
“A delegation of Saudi businessmen and investors will arrive in Erbil today to discuss future investment projects in the Kurdistan Region,” the source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Kurdistan 24.
“The Saudi delegation will be visiting Erbil on the recommendation of Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman,” he added.
The KRG maintains good relations with Riyadh, the Saudi Kingdom’s capital, and KRG leaders have visited the regional powerhouse many times to discuss, among other topics, economic ties.
Saudi first opened its consulate in Erbil early-2016 to pave the way for closer relations between the two governments.
In March, the office of Iraq’s Prime Minister had stated that Crown Prince Salman was planning to visit Iraq in the near future, but a date had not yet been set.
In response to the statement, hundreds of people gathered in Baghdad following the Friday prayer to voice their opposition to an alleged upcoming visit by the Saudi’s official. They held signs calling bin Salman a war criminal, with others blaming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for crimes committed by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.
The Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia, however, later in a statement, said there was “no truth” to reports claiming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would visit Iraq.
Iraq and Saudi Arabia have had a strained relationship over the past decades, but recently, tensions have eased following Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s visit to Riyadh last year after ties between Iraq and Saudi Arabia were normalized in 2016.