Iraqi PM to Head to Saudi Arabia, Iran for New Dialogue

Al-Kadhimi’s visit aims to renew Baghdad-mediated dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran, who severed diplomatic ties in 2016, and has already led to five round of talks in Iraq with little traction

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi arrives to supervise a military operation against Islamic State in the western region of Anbar, in April.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi arrives to supervise a military operation against Islamic State in the western region of Anbar, in April.Credit: Reuters / Thaier Al-Sudani

Iraq’s caretaker prime minister is set to fly to Saudi Arabia on Saturday before heading to Iran in an effort to renew talks between the two regional arch foes, an official said Saturday.

The official said Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was scheduled to travel to Riyadh later in the day for meetings with Saudi officials. He will then travel to Tehran on Sunday.

Al-Kadhimi’s visit aims to reactivate Baghdad-mediated dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran, who severed diplomatic ties in 2016, and has already led to five round of talks in Iraq with little traction. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge the information to the press.

The talks aimed at defusing years-long tensions between the regional foes began quietly in Iraq’s capital in 2021, as Saudi Arabia sought a way to end its disastrous war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

A fifth and last round of talks held in Baghdad back in April was described as "positive" by Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson, and played up even more so by al-Kahdimi, who announced that "We are convinced that reconciliation is near."

While such gains have not publicly materialized, the ongoing dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia represents a significant departure from the state of regional tensions just five years ago, when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates demanded that Qatar cut off its relations with Iran as one of their central demands during their blockade of the peninsular kingdom.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can