Iraq ready to host new round of Iranian-Saudi talks: FM


Baghdad, June 17 : Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein has expressed Iraq's readiness to host a new round of direct talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Baghdad. Hussein made the remarks in a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. During the phone call, the Iraqi top diplomat confirmed "the Iraqi government's intention to continue facilitating direct talks between the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers in Baghdad to restore relations to normal," said the statement. Calling the latest round of talks with Saudi Arabia in Baghdad as "positive", Amir-Abdollahian welcomed the implementation of the outcomes of the negotiations and praised the Iraqi Foreign Ministry's role in this regard, according to the statement. To improve bilateral relations and ease regional tension, Baghdad hosted four rounds of direct talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia last year, and the fifth round was held in April this year. In response to the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran after the kingdom executed a Shiite cleric, Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in early 2016. The two rivals' strained relations showed signs of improvement after they resumed direct talks on normalising diplomatic relations in April 2021. /IANS


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