Iraqi Prime Minister Visit Postponed After Saudi King Hospitalized

Iranian foreign minister said that Iraq-Iran relations would not be 'shaken' by the meeting between Baghdad and Riyadh

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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi speaks during a news conference in Basra, Iraq, July 15, 2020.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi speaks during a news conference in Basra, Iraq, July 15, 2020. Credit: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Pool via REUTERS
Reuters
The Associated Press

The visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to Saudi Arabia has been postponed after the hospitalisation of King Salman, the Saudi foreign minister said on Monday.

"In recognition of the importance of the visit and a desire to make it succeed, our wise leadership in coordination with our brothers in Iraq has decided to postpone the visit," Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud wrote on Twitter.

Speaking ahead of the planned visit to Saudi Arabia, Iran's regional rival, Iran's foreign minister on Sunday stressed that Iran-Iraq relations would not be “shaken.”

Several hours after Mohammad Javad Zarif landed in Baghdad, three mortars struck near the U.S. Embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone without causing any losses, according two security officials. The Green Zone is the seat of 's government and home to many foreign embassies. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Zarif's visit to Iraq was the first since the American assassination of top Iranian  outside Baghdad’s international airport in January. The drone strike catapulted Iraq to the brink of a  that could have destabilized the Middle East.

The visit also came as the Iraqi government tussles with , some of which have become increasingly difficult to control in the absence of Soleimani and senior Iranian militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was also killed in the strike. In late June,  over a spate of rocket and mortar attacks targeting the U.S. installations in Iraq. Most of the fighters were later released.

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