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".

 

Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Revolt in US State Department over child soldier law

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

Syrian opposition aims for unity at talks in Riyadh

Egypt police kill 3 Islamists in shootout

Turkey unsure if Assad to be part of Syria political transition

Migrant arrivals from Libya down since EU deal

Palestinian factions leave Cairo talks with little progress

Sudan’s Bashir looks to Putin for ‘protection’ from US aggression

China, Djibouti forge 'strategic' ties

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home

Rebels say Sanaa airport 'ready to run' after coalition bombing

Greece to amend historic sharia law for Muslim minority

Turkey to ask Germany to extradite top coup suspect

Car bomb in northern Iraq kills at least 24

Morocco bans bitcoin transactions

13 million Syrians need aid despite relative drop in violence

Sudan urged to improve plight of Darfur's displaced people

Brain drain means Syria can’t recover for a generation

Palestinians close communication lines with Americans

Anti-IS coalition strikes drop to lowest number

German police arrest six Syrians ‘planning terror attack’

Palestinian factions in Cairo for reconciliation talks

Turkish opposition daily web editor sentenced to 3 years in jail