UPDATED: Abadi against Qatar’s isolation, Saudi visit not related to Gulf crisis

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Baghdad ( Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has hinted to his opposition to Gulf states’ boycott measures taken against Qatar, but said a planned meeting with Saudi Arabia’s king had nothing to do with the crisis.

“Iraq is against any embargo on any Gulf state, even if it disagrees with it,” Abadi said during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday. He was referring to a decision a week ago by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates to totally severe relations with Qatar over the latter’s alleged financing of terrorism and rapprochement with Iran.

Abadi had said in earlier statements his country would remain neutral towards parties to the crisis, the worst to have hit the Gulf region in decades according to some observers.

His remarks come as media reports quoted Saudi and Iraqi diplomatic source saying that Abadi was heading for a visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that would put the diplomatic rift on top of the agenda of talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Abadi said he was invited for the visit a  year and a half earlier, and that it had nothing to do with resolving the Gulf disagreement with Qatar. Reuters had quoted him saying he would, however, seek clarifications from the Saudi king about accusations made against Qatar. 


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