MbS urged Baghdad to set up Iran-Saudi meeting: Iraqi FM
The date of the meeting will be announced later, according to Fuad Hussein, the Foreign Minister of Iraq
By News Desk - January 31 2023

Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein (Photo credit: Reuters)

As part of a diplomatic process aimed at mending strained relations between the two neighbors, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) reportedly pressured senior Iraqi officials to set up a face-to-face meeting between the top diplomats of Riyadh and Tehran. This was revealed by the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fuad Hussein, on 30 January.

In an interview with Rudaw TV on 29 January, the Iraqi Foreign Minister said that “Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Iran, will meet in Baghdad, at the request of Mohammed bin Salman. The event is still planned, and the time and date will be announced later.”

He also said that the Iranian and Saudi foreign ministers would meet in public and that Iraq would act as a middleman to ensure that the details of the private conversations were made public.

The Saudi diplomat stated earlier this month that his nation has spoken with Iran and is looking for a way to open a dialogue between the two.

In an effort to improve their bilateral relations, the two sides began negotiations in the spring of 2021 and held five rounds of talks in the Iraqi capital. However, Tehran suspended the negotiations after Riyadh executed 81 people under the pretext of being involved in “terrorism,” the majority of which were minority Shia Muslims.

Relations have recently become tenser due to Saudi Arabia’s alleged sponsorship of the protests in Iran in late 2021.

Iran’s Intelligence Minister, Esmail Khatib, was quoted by Iranian media as saying it is running out of patience and will no longer tolerate intervention, hostility, and incitement in a direct message to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, in November, Iran sent an official warning message to the kingdom through diplomatic channels, confirming that it is fully aware of “the Saudi connection to Iran International.” Riyadh categorically denied this, saying it has “nothing to do with the outlet.”

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