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Baghdad beefs up efforts to restore Saudi-Iranian ties
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 04 - 07 - 2022

BAGHDAD — The declaration with regard to restoration of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran is expected to take place in Baghdad, according to a well-informed Iraqi source.
This will be in the presence of officials from Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the participation of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported quoting the source.
The source referred to the statement of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Sunday that relations between Riyadh and Tehran will soon be resumed. The ties were severed in 2016.
The source remarked that Al-Kadhimi had made progress over several pending files between Saudi Arabia and Iran during his visits to Jeddah and Tehran last week. This will help ease overall tensions in the region, he stressed.
Asked if Saudi officials will visit Baghdad before the Jeddah summit, the source said such a trip requires arrangements between Riyadh, Baghdad and Tehran. It is expected that Al-Kadhimi will resume his mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran before the Gulf-Arab-American summit in Jeddah later this month, the source said.
Abdollahian had announced from Damascus on Sunday that Tehran welcomes the restoration of relations with Riyadh, the reopening of embassies and the launch of political dialogue.
On reports that talks between Egypt, Jordan and Iran would be held in Baghdad, he said there are no direct negotiations with Egypt over restoring ties at the moment. Efforts are under way however, to set them back on the right path as part of the joint cooperation between the two countries, he added.
Abdollahian made his remarks days after Iraqi FM Hussein revealed for the first time that Baghdad was sponsoring dialogue between Iran and Jordan, and Iran and Egypt.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hussein Allawi, aide to Al-Kadhimi, said that Al-Kadhimi's efforts aim to establish a period of regional stability, peace, cooperation and development. Al-Kadhimi kicked off the mediation in April 2021 and, in spite of the crises and media tensions, he has succeeded in holding four other rounds of dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Dr. Allawi said.
"We can say that Iraq has managed in shifting Saudi-Iranian ties towards a period of understanding and the exchange of views over several regional issues," he said. They have set the path towards solutions and strategic initiatives to issues at hand, he added.
"Iraq is keen on establishing stability in the region because it is approaching economic changes through major projects tackling transportation, energy, electricity, food security, water shortages and climate change," Dr. Allawi said.
He added that the success of these projects demands constant partnership and cooperation between the countries of the region.
Saudi-Iranian relations have reached a phase of understanding and exchanging views on many regional issues and setting paths for solutions and strategic initiatives for them, it was pointed out.

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