Iraq hosts conference with neighboring states Saudi Arabia, Iran

The conference is an attempt by Iraq to bolster its relations with the states around it and act as a mediator between rivaling countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran.
author_image Kurdistan 24

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Saturday was host to a regional conference which included delegations from rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia among other neighboring states.

Iraq hosted the one-day conference where senior parliamentary officials from the regional countries Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Syria, and Jordan discussed security in the Middle East, diplomacy, and economic issues, Reuters reported.

The conference is an attempt by Iraq to bolster its relations with the states around it and act as a mediator between rivaling countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran who support opposing sides in ongoing wars across the Middle East.

Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi chaired the meeting. Halbousi said in a statement that the delegations reassured their support for the reconstruction and development of Iraq following the years-long war against the so-called Islamic State.

“What binds us to our neighbors is our common geographical destiny and common interests,” he said in the statement.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi recently visited both Iran and Saudi Arabia where he met with senior officials in both countries to discuss bilateral ties and further strengthen Baghdad’s relationship with its neighbors.  

In Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Mahdi met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The trip was his first official visit to Riyadh since he became Iraqi prime minister six months ago.

Ten days earlier, Abdul-Mahdi was in Tehran where he sat with both Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The Iraqi prime minister has repeatedly said his country wants to ensure it maintains strong relations with its neighbors as well as its allies abroad, namely the United States.