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Iran's Ambassador to Baghdad Discusses Roadmap for Iranian-Saudi Talks

Iran's Ambassador to Baghdad Discusses Roadmap for Iranian-Saudi Talks

Saturday, 30 April, 2022 - 07:45
Iran's ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Iran's outgoing ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi discussed at the end of his term the latest stages of the talks between his country and Saudi Arabia.

For a year and a half, Baghdad has hosted five rounds of talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran shortly after the outgoing prime minister, Mustafa Kadhimi, assumed his duties.

During an interview in Baghdad, Masjedi revealed the details of the recent talks between Tehran and Riyadh.

He indicated that during the fifth round held last Thursday, the delegations discussed a roadmap for the future.

"Both sides had some suggestions which were agreed upon after the Thursday meeting and turned into a roadmap for the future."

In response to whether the two countries will reopen their embassies, Masjedi stated that the course of talks would determine whether there will be an exchange of missions, and it depends on the next negotiations.

He added, "In the last round of negotiations, it was important that the two sides have an agreed framework for the future, which came to fruition. And this is per se a positive point that will pave the future way for both sides."

The diplomat pointed out that the "confidence-building" measure is one of the most critical features of the agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

He explained that other issues include bilateral cooperation and measures such as the Hajj, the exchange of embassies, and "regional and international matters."

Kadhimi ensured that Iraq restored its previous regional and international status and became an important regional and global actor. He reestablished and reorganized Baghdad's relations with Washington and held four rounds of strategic dialogue that resulted in the withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq at the end of 2021.

The PM also relayed messages between Tehran and Washington ahead of the Vienna negotiations. Iraq increased its cooperation with Saudi Arabia in all fields by activating the Economic and Political Council, which held several meetings in Baghdad and Riyadh.

Kadhimi's security reform advisor Hussein Allawi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Prime Minister focused his government program on foreign policy and restoring Iraq's regional role, which requires a new strategic approach.

Allawi added that one of the strategic issues was the Saudi-Iranian dialogue under the auspices of the Iraqi government.

Allawi believes that Kadhimi succeeded in reaching the first point through the arrival of the two countries' delegations last year and the start of the dialogue with its four rounds.

He indicated that the last round held in April 2022 was an excellent achievement for the two countries.

The expert noted that Iraq transferred its post-2016 relations from stagnation to openness, dialogue, and exchange of views, leading to a roadmap for normalizing the relationship by activating the Iranian diplomats' visa membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the ceasefire in Yemen.

Allawi asserts that Kadhimi realizes that the country's national security will only be achieved by regional diplomatic action, adding that the establishment of peace is a significant opportunity to create an appropriate climate for cooperation and development among all.

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