Six Iraqis whose boat sank off the Saudi coast last November have been repatriated, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced Monday.
The six were returned to their country under ICRC supervision, "and with the full cooperation of authorities in the two countries," through the Jadida border post on Sunday, it said in a statement cited by AFP.
The group, who had been rescued by the Saudi coastguard, were repatriated "of their own accord" after meeting with ICRC delegates, the statement issued by the ICRC's Baghdad office stated.
In addition, the bodies of two Iraqis who perished during the incident were handed over to authorities in Baghdad, it added.
Baghdad and Riyadh have had no diplomatic relations since the 1991 Gulf War, however started mending fences during an Arab summit in Beirut late last month at which Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz publicly embraced Iraqi number two Ezzat Ibrahim, AFP added.
Meanwhile, in comments published in the Iraqi press Monday, Ibrahim warmly praised both Crown Prince Abdullah and Saudi Arabia's King Fahd.
"They are good people in Saudi Arabia, primarily King Fahd and my brother and dear friend Prince Abdullah," he conveyed.
Ibrahim credited Abdullah for the rapprochement initiated in Beirut, saying the Saudi crown prince had "seriously endeavored for a normalization (of relations) between Saudi Arabia and Iraq." (Albawaba.com)
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