Baghdad — Iraq’s new prime minister, Mohammed Shi’ar al-Sudani, said on Tuesday that he would like Iraq to continue to hold talks between its biggest enemies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Iran, during his term.
Speaking at his first press conference since his government received a parliamentary vote of confidence on Thursday, Al-Sudani said his administration has shown interest in Iraq to continue promoting dialogue between the two countries. Stated.
“We were told to continue,” he said without elaborating.
Iraq has held several face-to-face meetings between rival officials in the two regions since last year, but the talks have so far yielded little results.
Saudi Arabia is seeking talks with Iran as it seeks to end its long-running war with Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Al-Sudani’s government is the first Iraqi government since 2005 not to include a seat from the political bloc of influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The approval of a new cabinet last week ended a year-long political stalemate punctuated by outbreaks of street violence, as Sadr withdrew his bloc from parliament.
The government has pledged to fight corruption, accelerate reconstruction of areas affected by armed conflict, and return displaced people to their homes. It also calls for the elimination of “uncontrolled weapons” held by non-state actors.
In Tuesday’s remarks, al-Sudani promised to focus on “returning stolen Iraqi funds” that may have been transferred abroad, and warned Iraq to understand the need for Iraqi security forces. These include training needs and the number of coalition forces needed.
The U.S.-led coalition has officially ended its combat missions in Iraq, but continues to play an advisory role to the Iraqi military in its fight against the Islamic State extremist group.