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Iraqi PM, Saudi’s Bin Salman Discuss Countries’ Ties in First Phone Call

ERBIL – Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Thursday received a phone call from Saudi Arabian Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and discussed bilateral relations between the two countries, Kurdistan24 said Thursday.
This is the first telephone contact between the two sides since Abdul Mahdi took office as prime minister of Iraq late last year.
Abdul-Mahdi said in a statement issued by his office that Iraq welcomes “developing relations” with Saudi Arabia, according to the statement, Bin Salman expressed, that Saudi Arabia’s full support for Iraq and its support for its lasting security and prosperity. The statement gave no further details.
Riyadh’s embassy in Baghdad was closed in 1990 following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and only reopened in late 2015.
In February 2017, Saudi Arabia’s former foreign minister, Adil al-Jubeir, paid a rare visit to Baghdad, and Abdul-Mahdi’s predecessor, Haider al-Abadi, visited Riyadh the same year.
Iraq and Saudi Arabia agreed in June 2017 to establish a coordination council to improve relations between the two countries.
Abdul-Mahdi has not made any foreign visits since taking office. However, President Barham Salih went on a Middle East tour in mid-November during which he visited Saudi Arabia and met with the kingdom’s head of state and the crown prince.
Salih and bin Salman “reviewed aspects of the relations between the two brotherly countries and opportunities for their development, in addition to discussing developments in the region,” Saudi Press Agency said in a statement.
Saudi is among Arab countries Washington has praised for its efforts in working together with the US to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East and Iraq in particular, where Tehran supports leading political and militia forces.
Saudi is also engaged in what is widely seen as a Tehran-Riyadh proxy conflict that has resulted in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises in Yemen.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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