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Iraqi PM Optimistic over Dialogue between Saudi Arabia, Iran

Iraqi PM Optimistic over Dialogue between Saudi Arabia, Iran

Wednesday, 8 June, 2022 - 05:15
A handout picture released by Iraq's Prime Minister's Media Office on June 7, 2022 shows Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi giving a press conference at the government headquarters in the capital Baghdad's fortified "Green Zone". (Iraqi Prime Minister’s Press Office/AFP)

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi revealed on Tuesday that his country was sponsoring dialogues between five countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran.

He did not name the other countries, but confirmed that the talks were being held in Iraq.

On the Saudi-Iranian dialogue, he revealed that it had made "good" progress, expecting "good news" in the coming period.

"Iraq has largely succeeded in easing tensions in the region and this is very important," he declared at a press conference attended by Asharq Al-Awsat.

"Iraq is a central country in the region and it can therefore play a very significant role," Kadhimi added, saying that a "crisis of trust" had impeded its role, but it has now been overcome.

He cited the visits paid by the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers to Iraq in recent days as evidence of his country's important role.

Turning to the climate, Kadhimi said Iraq was part of Saudi Arabia's Middle East Green Initiative and it will plant 60 billion trees.

The Kingdom, he continued, has supported Iraq in planting these trees in its effort to combat desertification and the water and climate crises, which have not been addressed properly in the country due to its conflicts.

On the political scene, the PM said certain parties, which he did not name, have been impeding the work of his government so that it would be deemed a failure.

The reality on the ground, however, speaks differently even though the government has been in office for only two years, he remarked.

He stressed that his government was formed for the sole purpose of holding early elections and it did so last year and the polls were hailed as a success.

Moreover, he noted that he assumed office during the collapse of oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic. "I accepted the challenge and responsibility even though the odds were stacked against me."

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