Government official: Al-Kazemi will go to Bin Salman after consultations with Zarif

Government official: Al-Kazemi will go to Bin Salman after consultations with Zarif

18/7/2020 13:33

Government official - Al-Kazemi will go to Bin Salman after consultations with Zarif[Baghdad-Ain]
A government official said today, Saturday, that the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazimi’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Iran is “an attempt to balance relations”, while he indicated that Al-Kazemi will receive the Iranian Foreign Minister, Jawad Zarif, before heading to Riyadh to meet me Testament Muhammad bin Salman.
“Al-Kazemi will visit Saudi Arabia and Iran, respectively, next week, in an attempt to strike a balance in relations with the regional rivals during his first foreign trip since taking office,” a government official told AFP.

Baghdad has often found itself caught in a tug of war between Riyadh and Tehran, and even Washington, which Al-Kazemi is also scheduled to visit later this month.

The government official indicated that “the Iraqi Prime Minister will receive on Sunday in Baghdad, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, before heading the next day to Saudi Arabia at the head of a delegation that includes the ministers of oil, electricity, planning and finance.”

Al-Kazemi is supposed to meet the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, with whom he has a “close relationship.”

It is scheduled that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will arrive on Sunday to the capital Baghdad to meet a number of Iraqi officials, after which he will visit the city of Arbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, to meet the President of the region, Nechirvan Barzani, and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.

Iraq had proposed to Saudi Arabia early this month a package of development opportunities that focus on energy, so it is expected that the talks between the two parties will focus on financing these proposals and other infrastructure projects, as well as reopening the Arar border crossing between the two countries.

The delegation is scheduled to travel directly to Tehran on Tuesday evening, where Al-Kazemi will meet the Supreme Leader of the Iranian Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Al-Kazemi took over as prime minister in May after holding the position of head of the intelligence service for nearly four years, which helped him to form diverse relationships.

In addition to his friendship with the Saudi crown prince, Al-Kazemi also has good relations with Iranian intelligence services and government departments in the country, which could make him, according to observers, a mediator between the two regional rivals.

According to Agence France-Presse, Al-Kazemi is also loved in Washington, which he will visit soon to pursue the strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States. It will be the first time that an Iraqi prime minister has visited the White House in three years.

American officials did not extend an invitation to former Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, whom they considered very close to Iran.