No meeting held between Iran, Saudi Arabia during Baghdad summit: Foreign Ministry

August 30, 2021 - 19:3

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has said that no meeting was held between Iranian and Saudi officials during the Baghdad summit on Sunday.

Responding to a question on whether Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian had a meeting with his Saudi counterpart during his stay in Baghdad, Khatibzadeh said, “No talks have been held in Baghdad more than what was held before. We did not see any new talks in Baghdad.”

He made the remarks during a weekly press briefing on Monday.

Asked why the Iranian president did not participate in the Baghdad summit, the spokesman replied, “For each international summit, the level and composition of the participants are decided by the countries based on the details of the holding and preparation in the countries. Whether the honorable president or the foreign minister attends a meeting is decided on the basis of the level of the participants and the president's plans and issues such as this. There is practically no difference in the field of foreign policy in this area, especially regarding Iraq.”

He added, “As Iraq's neighbor, we have repeatedly stated a principled policy that we stand by Iraq in any move and initiative that contributes to the peace, stability and tranquility of Iraq and its regional role. The previous visit of [Iranian President] Ayatollah [Seyed Ebrahim] Raisi was very successful and they had very good talks with all the Iraqi officials, and a visit to Iraq will take place in the future, God willing.”
Raisi visited Iraq in February as Iran’s Judiciary chief.

The spokesman described Abdollahian's visit to Baghdad as “successful” and noted, “He had intensive bilateral and multilateral consultations with Iraqi officials and officials attending the summit.”

In his first foreign trip as foreign minister, Abdollahian held several meetings with Iraqi and non-Iraqi officials during his stay in Baghdad, where a regional summit was held with the participation of Iran. In Baghdad, the top Iranian diplomat met with several dignitaries and participated in the Baghdad Regional Summit. Before the summit, he welcomed the Iraqi initiative but said that Syria should have been invited to the summit. Abdollahian said Iran embraces any regional initiative by Iraqi officials which gets regional countries on board.

In his summit speech, the foreign minister underlined Iran’s policy of fostering regional cooperation. “This meeting, with regional countries in attendance, confirms the efforts of the Republic of Iraq in creating areas for cooperation and interaction among the countries of the region, and I hope that, through these meetings, we can make a prosperous, developed and free region,” he said, adding, “Today, Iraq is playing an important role in the region thanks to its constructive efforts and vision. The Islamic Republic of Iran was one of the first regional countries to recognize the new Iraq and to develop its political, economic and trade ties with Iraq by supporting the political processes in this country.”

Khatibzadeh also answered a question on the controversy over the place where Abdollahian stood during a photo-op at the summit. “Addressing margins that want to downplay the text is not a foreign policy area. This trip has been so well reflected among various groups that some may want to cover this bold text with margins,” he said, adding, “Everyone knows the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region, Iraq and the international arena, and what is important is that the Baghdad summit was on the path to greater convergence, and in this summit, we have a common destiny in this region.”

The Iranian foreign minister paid a visit to Syria right after taking part in the Baghdad summit.  

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