Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Iraqi PM: ‘Remarkable progress’ in Iran-Saudi talks

The Iraqi prime minister says diplomatic discussions between Tehran and Riyadh to iron out differences have made ‘remarkable progress’, adding talks have reached ‘advanced stages’.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi told Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television network on Tuesday that Iraq is playing its part by hosting Iran and Saudi Arabia to help them bring their views closer.

The two sides have so far held five rounds of talks brokered by Iraq.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told a World Economic Forum panel in May that there has been “some but not enough” progress in talks with Iran.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh confirmed that talks with Riyadh in Baghdad on normalizing bilateral relations were “positive”.

Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic ties with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian protesters, enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, stormed its embassy in Tehran.

Iran has been criticizing the kingdom for pursuing what it calls a confrontational foreign policy toward the Islamic Republic.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supporting the Houthis, fighting the Riyadh-led coalition. Meanwhile, Iran says Saudi war on Yemen and its support for the Takfiri groups are among major issues blocking the normalization of their ties.

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