Iraq to continue mediation between Iran, Saudi Arabia: PM

January 14, 2023 - 23:54

TEHRAN – Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad al-Sudani has announced the continuation of his country’s efforts to build bridges between Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

In an interview with the Arabic service of DW, al-Sudani revealed that Baghdad continues its efforts to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“Balanced relations between Iraq and neighboring countries according to the principle of mutual respect, common interests and non-interference in internal affairs is the best approach for us as a government,” he said. 

The prime minister added, “Bringing points of view closer between Iran and the countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia, is an approach that the government has followed and continues to follow, and it will contribute to easing tensions in the region, which will reflect on the security of Iraq and the region.”

Al-Sudani said, “We find a response from Iran and Saudi Arabia, and we are continuing with these attempts until we resume the meetings in Baghdad soon.”

The Iraqi prime minister also praised the depth of Tehran-Baghdad relations. “There is a distinguished and positive relationship with Iran, and what connects the two countries are 1,200 km borders, and religious, cultural and social commonalities, as is the case with Iraq's relations and its Arab depth,” he noted. 

Earlier this month, al-Sudani said Tehran and Baghdad enjoy a historical relationship. “The relationship with Iran is historical, and we have borders that extend for more than 1,200 kilometers, and there are cultural, religious and social commonalities,” he said, according to Iran’s official news agency IRNA. 

He added, “Since the changes in 2003, Iran has been a supporter of the Iraqi political process and helped Iraq in the fight against the ISIS terrorist group. Relations are positive and within the framework of cooperation and support management, away from interfering in internal affairs,” IRNA reported. 

The Iraqi prime minister paid a visit to Iran in late November and met almost with all high-ranking Iranian officials, most notably Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution. 

In his meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei, al-Sudani expressed his thanks to the Islamic Republic for its support and assistance to Iraq in the war on terrorism.

He also highlighted the importance of sustaining bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields, according to a statement at the time by the prime minister’s office. 

The Iraqi prime minister affirmed that his government has placed the economy and services at the top of its priorities and expressed wishes that close relations with Iran would contribute to addressing these priorities.

During his visit to Tehran, al-Sudani also had a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. “The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq are different and top-tier, and the strengthening and deepening of bilateral relations should lead to the development and improvement of the level of regional and international interactions in order to establish as much peace and stability in the region and the world as possible,” Raisi said in the meeting.

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