Iraq hosts new round of Iran-Saudi talks

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By Yashal Mazar

Iraq said Tuesday it had hosted the fifth round of tension-easing talks between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Al-Sahaf described the talks between the two neighbors as “positive”.

“The atmosphere of the negotiations was calm and there was a state of positivity and understanding,” Al-Sahaf said in statements cited by the state news agency INA.

He added that the talks between the two sides tackled a number of files, including the security issue, without providing further details.

The new round of Iran-Saudi talks was attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, the spokesman said.

“Such dialogues help promote stability and balance at the regional level,” Al-Sahaf added.

There was no comment from either Iran or Saudi Arabia on the report.

Iraq hosted four previous rounds of negotiations between Riyadh and Tehran since April 2021, which included several issues, including Iran’s nuclear program and the Yemen war.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations accuse Iran of pursuing an expansionist agenda by interfering in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. Tehran denies the accusations and says it seeks good relations with its neighbors.

The two neighbors fell out in January 2016 following attacks on two Saudi diplomatic missions in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad, which were triggered by Saudi Arabia’s execution of prominent Shia cleric and activist Sheikh Baqir Nimr al-Nimr.— AA

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