By Katherine Harvey and Bruce Riedel, for The Brookings Institution. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Can Iraq play the role of a bridge in the Gulf?
There has been a gradual thaw in the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iraq since 2015, and a number of notable developments have taken place in recent months.
Last November, the Arar border crossing - the principle crossing between the two countries - was opened for the first time in 30 years.
In late March, during a trip to Riyadh by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the two countries signed a number of agreements covering economic and cultural relations.
Most importantly, the kingdom committed to a substantial increase in investment in Iraq: up to $3 billion, from a current total of about $500 million.
Then, less than 10 days after Kadhimi's trip, according to reports, his government hosted direct talks between the Saudis and their regional rival, Iran. The talks reportedly focused on Yemen.
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