Iraqi PM al-Abadi meets Supreme Leader

June 20, 2017

TEHRAN – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi held high-profile talks on Tuesday afternoon with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

Al-Abadi arrived in Tehran directly from Riyadh, where he had talks with Saudi Arabian officials, including King Salman.

The Iraqi prime minister was expected to soften the rising tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran which have seen their relations deteriorated to the lowest levels in recent decades, especially after inflammatory remarks against Iran by the Saudi defense and foreign ministers.

Tehran and Riyadh have been at loggerheads over a series of issues including the crisis in Syria, the Saudi-led war on Yemen and the suppression of the pro-democracy movement in Bahrain.

Iran also indirectly blamed the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia for the terrorist attacks in Tehran on June 7.

Al-Abadi’s trips to Iran and Saudi Arabia also took place at a time that tension has flared up between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, joined by the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, suddenly cut all ties with Qatar, citing Doha’s support for the Palestinian Hamas resistance group and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as good ties with Iran.

Prior to his meeting with the Supreme Leader, the Iraqi prime minister held talks with First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri.

‘We are in one front in fighting terrorism’

In a joint press conference with Jahangiri, the Iraqi prime minister said Iran and Iraq have taken more serious decisions in fighting terrorism.

“We are in one front against terrorism,” al-Abadi said.

The Iraqi prime minister said terrorism has targeted the entire world and it is essential to expand cooperation in war against it.

He also said that Iraq will speed up its economic cooperation with Iran after eradication of terrorism.

For his part, Jahangiri said Iran will stand beside the Iraqi government and people in their campaign against terrorism.

The vice president also said that the two countries should expand relations and remove banking obstacles to expand economic ties.

After his meeting with Jahangiri, the Iraqi prime minister held talks with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution.

NA/PA

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