Saudi FM Affirms Kingdom's Support For Iraq In Fighting Isis

Saudi FM Affirms Kingdom's Support For Iraq In Fighting Isis

 Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir affirmed the kingdom's support for Iraq in fighting Islamic State at a meeting in Baghdad on Saturday (February 25).

On his visit, Jubeir met his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Jaafari said he welcomed the visit during a joint news conference.

"We also look forward to further cooperation especially that we are facing a joint enemy, which is Daesh and terrorism," he said.

Jubeir described talks with Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Foreign Minister Jaafari as fruitful.

He said he looked forward to building ties with Iraq and spoke of the two countries' common interest in fighting terrorism and extremism.

"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iraq are facing terrorism whether that of Daesh or al Qaeda or other terrorist organisations and there is a desire to work together to end this," he said.

Jubier also announced Saudi plan to appoint a new ambassador to Iraq, an Iraqi foreign ministry official said.

The unscheduled visit also comes as tensions between Iraq and Saudi Arabia remain fraught, with Saudi Arabia’s ambassador Thamer al-Sabhan last year accusing Shia militias in the country of plotting to assassinate him. The accusation prompted the Iraqi government to request Saudi Arabia to replace Sabhan.

Jubeir's visit was the first of a senior Saudi minister since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, a spokesman for Iraq's foreign ministry told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has long accused Iraq of being too close to Shia Iran, its main regional rival, and of encouraging sectarian discrimination against Sunnis, a charge Baghdad denies.