An official source at the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has ordered $500 million of humanitarian aid for Iraqi people affected by the recent tragic events, including displaced people, regardless of their religious, doctrinal or ethnic affiliations.
The United Nations Secretary General has been informed of this aid which will be provided through the United Nations organizations for the Iraqi people only.
Saudi citizens caught traveling to Iraq will face a fine of SR10,000 ($2,700) and a three-year travel ban, according to a report from Arab News.
Col. Salman Al-Muhaya, director of the Saudi travel section at the Passport Department, said:
“There are exceptional cases where Saudis may be allowed to travel … based on specific regulations. In Iraq, for instance, certain procedures must be followed by Saudis that have to be cleared by ad hoc committees in certain areas.”
From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
The Iraqi prime minister has accused Qatar and Saudi Arabia of effectively declaring war on his country.
He says they’re funding Sunni fighters in Anbar province, an area the Iraqi government is struggling to bring under control.
Al Jazeera‘s Imran Khan reports on the comments made as at least 47 people were killed by a suicide bomber in the city of Hilla. Al Jazeera also speaks to Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Qatar’s former ambassador to the United Nations and the United States:
Iraq and Iran, which together hold more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, are planning to challenge Saudi Arabia’s grip on OPEC and its status as the “swing producer” in the cartel, according to a report from The Telegraph.
With Iraq poised to triple its capacity to 9 million bpd by 2020, the result could be a dramatic fall in oil prices.
Hussain al-Shahristani (pictured), Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, said:
“We feel the world needs to be assured of fuel for economic growth … It’s very difficult to predict actual world (oil) demand by 2020 because the world economy is unpredictable … Iran has been in touch with us; they want to share our contracts model and experience.“
This news that Baghdad is working with Iran to help it attract investment ahead of the possible lifting of sanctions could be seen as a challenge to Saudi Arabia. Oil companies are understood to be queuing up to win Iranian oil deals.
The report speculates that, even if Iraq is able to achieve its target of boost production capacity as planned, it is unlikely to be able to put in place sufficient pipeline and port infrastructure to export the additional crude; the main export terminal near Basra will require billions of pounds worth of improvements in addition to the refurbishment of its pipeline network.
Currently, crude oil exports account for 93 percent of Iraqi government revenue.
Anbar province recently announced its completion of a 12 billion Iraqi dinar ($10.3 million) highway project linking western Iraq to Saudi Arabia.
Anbar province spokesman Mohammed Fathi Hantoush explained that the highway, called the Land Pilgrimage Road, is 230 kilometres long and links central Anbar to the Saudi border at Arar border crossing.
Hantoush added that the highway is slated to be used for hajj, umrah and trade exchange purposes, and aims to improve trade relations and religious tourism between the two countries.
The highway was constructed by local and government companies, and was completed within two years.