Iraq Hopes for Breakthrough in Iran-Saudi Talks

Iraq Hopes for Breakthrough in Iran-Saudi Talks
Iraq Hopes for Breakthrough in Iran-Saudi Talks

Talks between Tehran and Riyadh have made some progress and Baghdad hopes for a major breakthrough, Iraqi President Barham Salih said.
“Iraq and the region need that [breakthrough],” Salih said in an interview with Al Arabiya that aired on Saturday. “It is in Iraq’s benefit for them to have an understanding.”
The Iraqi president defined Iraq’s relationship with both Saudi Arabia and Iran as strong and of crucial importance. He said that “a strong, stable and sovereign Iraq” would lead to security and stability in the region.
Salih’s comments come as Iran and Saudi Arabia have held several rounds of talks in Baghdad facilitated by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
In August, Iraqi moderation brought both countries to the table when Baghdad hosted a summit for neighboring countries, a step that was at the time welcomed by Iran.
Last month, both Iran and Saudi Arabia voiced optimism about the talks. Iran’s Foreign Ministry said both sides should be able to reach a good understanding if Saudi Arabia accepts that “the solution to the problems in the region lies within the region itself.”
Earlier, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud told the UN General Assembly that Riyadh hopes to reach tangible results in its talks with Iran.
While relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been strained for decades, they took a notable dive in 2016, when Iranian protesters stormed Saudi diplomatic missions following the Kingdom’s execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
In late April, Iran said it could enter a “new chapter” with Saudi Arabia, welcoming a “change of tone” from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said he hoped for improved ties with Tehran.


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