Iraqi premier to start official visit to Saudi Arabia Wednesday

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi

Baghdad ( – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi will start an official visit to Saudi Arabia Wednesday on top of a high-level ministerial delegation, a political source told RT TV channel.

Accompanied by the ministers of foreign affairs, trade, oil and electricity, the premier is set to hold talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud on means of boosting joint cooperation between the two countries.

Preparations are underway for another meeting between Abdul Mahdi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman in Riyadh, the source added.

Last week, Iraqi ambassador in Riyadh Qahtan Taha said that the premier will attend the signing of 13 agreements during his Riyadh visit. “Such deals will help develop and reinforce relations between the two brotherly countries,” Taha said, adding that three of these agreements aim at boosting cooperation between Baghdad and Riyadh in the oil field.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries broke down in 1990 following Baghdad’s brazen invasion of Kuwait. The formal ties between Saudi Arabia and Iraq resumed in 2015 when Riyadh reopened its embassy in Baghdad, which had been shuttered for 25 years.

In June 2017, Iraq and Saudi Arabia agreed to set up a coordination council in efforts to further cement ties as the latter seeks to counteract Iranian influence in the former.

Baghdad has long claimed it seeks good relations with all countries, but Tehran’s sway over internal politics has been most palpable with its direct support for senior politicians and militias.

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