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New round of Iran-Saudi Arabia talks begin in Iraq

A fifth round of tension-easing talks between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia was hosted by Iraq, according to a statement by Iraq's foreign ministry spokesperson.

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A fifth round of tension-easing talks between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia was hosted by Iraq, according to a statement by Iraq’s foreign ministry spokesperson.

Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Al-Sahaf described the talks between the two neighbors as “positive”.

Al-Sahaf said in statements cited by the state news agency INA that “the atmosphere of the negotiations was calm and there was a state of positivity and understanding.”

Adding that the security issue was also put on the table by the two sides, Al-Sahaf expressed that the talks between the two sides tackled a number of files, without providing further details.

The spokesperson also indicated that the new round of Iran-Saudi talks was attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, further stating that “such dialogues help promote stability and balance at the regional level.”

Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia have commented on the report.

Since April 2021, four previous rounds of negotiations were hosted by Iraq between Riyadh and Tehran, which included several issues, including Iran’s nuclear program and the Yemen war.

Due to interfering in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations accuse Iran of pursuing an expansionist agenda. Saying it seeks good relations with its neighbors, Tehran denies the accusations.

Triggered by Saudi Arabia’s execution of prominent Shia cleric and activist Sheikh Baqir Nimr al-Nimr, the two neighbors fell out in January 2016 following attacks on two Saudi diplomatic missions in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad.

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