BAGHDAD, Iraq (Kurdistan24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi will visit Saudi Arabia on Wednesday where he is expected to discuss the Gulf region’s recent diplomatic issues, an Iraqi official said.
The Iraqi Prime Minister will meet with Saudi’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz to discuss several matters, including the political spat between several Gulf Arab nations and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and other nations cut ties with Doha last Monday, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.
Qatar denied the assertions made against it, labeling the decision from its neighboring countries to sever ties “unjustified” and with “no basis in fact.”
The talks between Abadi and Salman will also involve developments in the war against the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, according to the Iraqi official.
“Efforts to reinforce bilateral relations through a joint coordinating council will be addressed too,” the source added.
On Tuesday, Abadi said his government was not taking sides in the recent political dispute against Qatar.
“We are not part of these differences; we are keeping good relations with all the countries,” he said at a news conference in Baghdad.
According to the Iraqi official, both sides “have exhibited an eagerness to cooperate concerning issues related to regional terrorism and relations with Iran.”
In December, Saudi Arabia criticized the Shia militia Hashd al-Shaabi, who is fighting IS in Iraq, calling it a “sectarian organization which threatens Iraq’s unity."
The Hashd al-Shaabi forces are backed by Iran, an arch regional rival of Saudi Arabia.
Officials in Baghdad have frequently voiced their willingness to mediate between the governments in Riyadh and Tehran.
Editing by G. H. Renaud