First Published: 2017-10-22

Iraq PM arrives in Saudi to upgrade ties
Al-Abadi to take part in meeting in Riyadh to establish joint Saudi-Iraqi coordination council aimed at boosting cooperation even fruther.
Middle East Online

After years of tense relations Sunni-ruled Saudi, Shiite-ruled Iraq warming ties

RIYADH - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Riyadh Saturday in a visit aimed at upgrading strategic ties, amid warming relations between the Arab neighbours.

The tour coincides with Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh's high profile visit to Baghdad where he called for the strengthening of economic relations to boost oil prices.

It also comes after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, his second visit to the region in recent months to launch a fresh bid Sunday to ease a crisis between Riyadh and Doha.

Abadi is on Sunday to take part in Riyadh in a meeting to establish a joint Saudi-Iraqi coordination council aimed at boosting cooperation.

While in Riyadh, Tillerson is also set to take part in the meeting.

Iraq is seeking economic benefits from closer ties with Riyadh as both countries suffer from a protracted oil slump. Saudi Arabia is also seeking to counter Iranian influence in Iraq.

After years of tense relations, ties between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shiite-majority Iraq have begun looking up in recent months.

After former dictator Saddam Hussein's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Riyadh severed relations with Baghdad and closed its border posts with its northern neighbour.

Ties remained strained even after Saddam's ouster in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, since when successive Shiite-dominated governments in Baghdad have stayed close to Tehran.

But a flurry of visits between the two countries this year appears to indicate a thawing of ties.

At the opening of the Baghdad International Fair on Saturday, Saudi minister Khalid al-Falih hailed what he called "the new Iraq, on the ambitious road to prosperity and growth while strengthening its relations with the world".

 

UN Security Council lenient to Turkey’s Syria offensive

Washington probes Hezbollah ‘narcoterrorism’

Tillerson to present US strategy on Syria to European, Arab allies

Russia pension funds may invest in Aramco IPO

Iranian woman skydiver looks to break down stereotypes

Palestinians in occupied West Bank get 3G

Turkish army clashes with Kurdish militia amid US alarm

Turkey arrests dozens accused of ‘terror propaganda’

Three French female jihadists face possible death penalty in Iraq

Women journalists protest separation during Pence visit to Jerusalem

Egypt military accuses presidential hopeful of committing crimes

Israeli minister calls to ban author praising Palestinian teen

Qatar supports Turkey’s offensive against Kurds

World powers meet on Syria chemical attacks

Morocco's king appoints five new ministers

Pence pledges US embassy move by end of 2019 on Jerusalem trip

Russia calls for diplomatic solution to Yemen conflict

Russia invites Kurds to join Syria peace process

Turkey shells Kurdish targets in northern Syria

Closer look at pro-Ankara rebels amassing around Afrin

Pence set for Palestinian snub

Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state

Saudi-led coalition to give $1.5 bln in Yemen aid

Mattis: Turkey gave US advance warning on Syria operation

Yemen releases budget for first time in three years

Saudi calls for cooperation between OPEC, non-OPEC countries

France presses Turkey to end offensive against Kurds

The changing faces of al-Qaeda in Syria

Kurdish militia fire rockets at Turkish town

Moroccans wary depreciation of dirham could raise cost of living, despite benefits

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs