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Saudi FM: Iraqi Neutrality Can Help Tehran-Riyadh Rapprochement

Saudi FM: Iraqi Neutrality Can Help Tehran-Riyadh RapprochementSaudi FM: Iraqi Neutrality Can Help Tehran-Riyadh Rapprochement

The neutral stance of Iraq can pave the way for rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said as he arrived for an unannounced visit to Baghdad. During his trip on Saturday, Jubeir met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

The Saudi official congratulated Iraq “on the victories achieved against Daesh [an Arabic acronym for the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group] and pledged Saudi support to Iraq in fighting terrorism,” a statement by the Iraqi PM’s office said, as cited by AFP. Iraqi forces are currently storming the main IS stronghold in Mosul, retaking the city’s airport earlier this week.

The Saudi minister said, “Iraq’s neutrality could [lay the ground] for Iranian-Saudi rapprochement,” according to the statement. Riyadh and Tehran currently have no diplomatic relations. The ties were severed by Riyadh following attacks on Saudi missions in Iran in January 2016 by protestors outraged by the kingdom’s execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr without due process of law.

 

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