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Iran, Saudi parties continue negotiations to ease tensions in Baghdad


Iraqi officials say officials from Iran and Saudi Arabia have held a new round of talks in Baghdad, the first such meeting between regional enemies since a new president was sworn in in Tehran

The meeting held last week discussed “outstanding issues between the two countries according to a previously agreed roadmap, including diplomatic representation between the two countries,” according to an Iraqi official.

The official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to make official statements, said the meeting was not at ministerial level but called the talks positive.

Iraq has recently played the role of mediator between the two regional enemies whose rivalry has often had deadly consequences in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

Baghdad last month hosted a regional conference that brought together Arab heads of state and senior officials, including the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia. The meeting, intended to ease tensions in the Middle East, cemented Baghdad’s new role as mediator.

Last week’s meeting is the first since radical Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took office in August. It was not clear how much progress, if any, has been made in the talks.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have long been regional rivals. Relations deteriorated dramatically in 2016, when Riyadh sacked diplomats after protesters attacked its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad in retaliation for the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr. .

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ABC News

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