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Saudi Embassy Officially Reopens in Iraqi Capital

  • VOA News

FILE - Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari speaks to journalists during a news conference.

FILE - Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari speaks to journalists during a news conference.

Saudi Arabia has reopened its embassy in the Iraqi capital after its closure 25 years ago.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has accepted the credentials of the new Saudi ambassador, Tamer al-Sabhan.

Iraqi officials say Thursday the diplomats discussed the need to bolster relations between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia had cut off diplomatic ties and closed its Baghdad embassy in 1990 after the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

The reopening is the latest sign of a thaw in relations between Baghdad and Gulf Arab nations, some of which have viewed Shi'ite-led Iraq as too close to their main regional rival, Shi'ite Iran.

Tensions have eased between the Sunni Muslim-ruled states of the Gulf and Iraq since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi took office in August 2014.

Abadi's predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki, had accused Qatar and Saudi Arabia of funding IS insurgents, allegations denied by both countries.

Several months ago, Qatar's emir appointed Zayed al-Khayareen as Doha's ambassador to Iraq, the first since closing its embassy 25 years ago.

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