(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia and Iraq have agreed in principle to put on hold execution of prisoners on death row in the two countries for at least two months until a final agreement to swap prisoners is reached.
This was reported by local daily Al-Eqtisadiah on Friday quoting an official source at the Iraqi Embassy in Riyadh.
Muhammad Al-Obaidi, in charge of bilateral relations in the embassy, described the agreement to be only in principle and said no official papers were signed.
"This agreement in principle to put on hold execution of prisoners would automatically terminate when the two countries sign a final agreement to exchange prisoners," he said.
There are 113 Saudi prisoners in Iraq including six on death row after being charged with the crimes of illegally entering the country and carrying out terrorist operations there. There are 138 Iraqi prisoners in the Kingdom of whom 11 were sentenced to death after they were found guilty of carrying out terrorist operations in the country.
The Iraqi diplomat did not reveal when the two countries reached the agreement in principle but said that according to it, Iraq will not execute the six Saudi prisoners on death row.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Society for Human Rights Mufleh Al-Qahtani said the two sides were very serious in their intent to sign a final agreement to exchange prisoners, especially those sentenced to death.
"There are some procedural matters currently delaying the signing of the final prisoner swap accord but the agreement might be signed within the next two months," he said.
Al-Qahtani said the society recently received a delegation from the Iraq Embassy and discussed with it the affairs of Saudi prisoners in Iraq. "We have got serious and favorable response from the Iraqi side," he added.