Saudi-Iraqi relations: A regional safety net. By Hassan Al Mustafa *

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The meeting between Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi during the Arab summit last month in Jordan was not a protocol meeting for the sake of peace or a photo op. It falls within the path of continuous communication between Riyadh and Baghdad and aims to enhance bilateral relations, establish trust and create a unified front to confront terrorism.

In an interview with Al-Hurra television channel, Abadi confirmed Iraq’s rejection to be part of a regional axis against Saudi Arabia or against any Arab country.

“We refuse to be part of the policy of axes,” Abadi said, adding that his country was “a victim of regional struggles.” Abadi also said that working on resolving regional conflicts will be in the interest of Iraq. 

Strengthening trust 

This logic which brings politics out of sectarian alignments and out of regional axes’ conflicts can strengthen trust between the Iraqi and Saudi governments. It signals that the dialogue which kicked off in Baghdad between the two countries’ foreign ministers and which was followed with a visit by a top Iraqi delegation to Riyadh can lead to practical results on the ground.

These results can in turn help reach agreements on approaches regarding confronting terrorism, protecting borders and countering the smuggling of arms and the sneaking of extremists into different countries.

They can also help reach economic and cultural agreements that directly influence the media rhetoric and the popular mood of both countries.

Iran too is among the affairs that are part of Saudi-Iraqi relations. Tehran is close to both countries and geopolitics has its provisions. Tehran has good relations with political leaders in Iraq. Therefore, Baghdad – through these relations with Tehran – can play a role in narrowing points of view between Saudi Arabia and Iran and thus persuade Iran to take positive steps towards its Arab neighbors.

Hassan Al Mustafa



Relations based on mutual respect and rejection of sectarianism, violence and conspiracy can create a regional safety net that empowers the logic of the national state when confronting fundamentalist militias that threaten stable entities in the Middle East and seek to replace them.

Iran too is among the affairs that are part of Saudi-Iraqi relations. Tehran is close to both countries and geopolitics has its provisions. Tehran has good relations with political leaders in Iraq. Therefore, Baghdad – through these relations with Tehran – can play a role in narrowing points of view between Saudi Arabia and Iran and thus persuade Iran to take positive steps towards its Arab neighbors.

These measures will be tantamount to messages of peace which indicate Tehran’s intention to hold a serious dialogue that ends unresolved disputes and paves way for the stability of the region and for decreasing tensions in it.

 


(*) Hassan AlMustafa is Saudi journalist with interest in middle east and Gulf politics. His writing focuses on social media, Arab youth affairs and Middle Eastern societal matters. His twitter handle is @halmustafa.

 

Source: Alarabiya Engl;ich, April 9, 2017

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/04/09/Saudi-Iraqi-relations-A-regional-safety-net.html

 

 


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