Saudi foreign minister makes rare visit to Baghdad

It was the first visit of a senior Saudi minister since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, a spokesman for Iraq's foreign ministry said

By: Reuters | Baghdad | Published:February 25, 2017 8:15 pm
Adel Al-Jubeir, Adel Al-Jubeir Saudi, Adel Al-Jubeir iraq, saudi iraq, saudi iraq relationship, sAUDI Foreign Minister, Haider al-Abadi,  Haider al-Abadi iraq, Al-Jubeir, Baghdad, baghdad saudi arabia, Al-Jubeir baghdad, latest news, latest world news Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, speaks on the last day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Sunday Feb. 19, 2017. (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir made a rare visit to Baghdad on Saturday, meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the premier’s media office said. It was the first visit of a senior Saudi minister since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, a spokesman for Iraq’s foreign ministry told Reuters.

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Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Baghdad a year ago following a 25-year shutdown. But Iraq later asked for the ambassador to be replaced after he made comments about Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs and the alleged persecution of Sunni Muslims, angering local Shi’ite politicians and militia leaders.

Saudi Arabia has long accused Iraq of being too close to Shi’ite Iran, its main regional rival, and of encouraging sectarian discrimination against Sunnis, a charge Baghdad denies. Enmity between Sunni and Shi’ite regional powers has deepened in recent years as sectarian conflicts rage in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

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