The Saudi Foreign Ministry on Saturday dismissed reports that the country's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the heir apparent to the throne, was planning to visit neighboring Iraq.
"No truth to this," the statement issued by the ministry said, adding that "the two brotherly countries" had witnessed "positive developments… recently in all fields."
The announcement, however, made thousands of Baghdad residents hit the streets, protesting against a possible visit. They carried placards, calling bin Salman a war criminal and accusing him of supporting Daesh* and al-Qaeda*.
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iraq, following the latter's invasion of Kuwait under the rule of Saddam Hussein. In January 2016, Saudi Arabia reopened its diplomatic mission in Iraq.
Following the thaw in bilateral relations, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi paid a visit to Saudi Arabia.
* Daesh (aka the Islamic State/IS/ISIL/ISIS), al-Qaeda are terrorist groups banned in Russia