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Iraqi president: talks between rivals Iran and Arabia are underway

BAGHDAD (AP) – The Iraqi president stated on Wednesday that his nation not too long ago hosted direct talks between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, on a couple of event, the primary public recognition of Baghdad’s function in as a mediator.

The primary spherical of talks between Riyadh and Tehran befell early final month, Iraqi President Barham Salih stated in a stay interview with the Beirut Institute, a suppose tank. He stated talks had been held for “greater than as soon as”, calling the talks ongoing, “essential and significant”.

It was the primary time that an Iraqi official publicly confirmed that the talks had taken place. Salih didn’t remark when requested concerning the fruits of the talks.

Saudi Arabia has sought talks with Iran as the dominion tries to finish its multi-year warfare in Yemen towards Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Tehran, in the meantime, appears to have calculated {that a} gradual detente with Riyadh, a longtime ally of the US, will work in its favor when nuclear negotiations resume with Washington and the world powers.

For Iraq, internet hosting the talks is seen as an essential step for Baghdad, which has all the time sought to play the function of regional mediator. Salih echoed this, saying that “for Iraq it is very important play this handy function between these regional actors”.

Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia have confirmed that the talks have taken place, though Iranian officers have alluded to them and welcomed the talks.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have lengthy been regional rivals. Relations deteriorated considerably in 2016, when Riyadh dismissed its diplomats after protesters attacked its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad in retaliation to the dominion for executing a outstanding Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr.

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