BRUSSELS (Dispatches) -- EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Saturday hailed the recent Baghdad conference held to promote regional dialogue as an “important diplomatic achievement,” saying Iraq is key to promoting stability between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
In a blog post published on the website of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Borrell wrote that the EU strongly supports Iraq’s efforts.
Last month, Iraq hosted the Baghdad International Conference “For Cooperation and Participation” aimed at easing tensions in the region.
The summit brought Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt among other countries together to discuss a host of issues, including the war in Yemen, the economic and political situation in Lebanon, and a détente in Tehran-Riyadh relations.
“Iraq is key for promoting security and stability among the regional powers: Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as Turkey,” Borrell noted. “The conference brought them all to the same table.”
“This is not a given and was an important diplomatic achievement by Prime Minister Kadhimi,” he added, referring to the Iraqi leader.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, the Iraqi premier said the conference represented “a new impetus” for Iraq in consolidating its foreign relations with the countries of the region and the world.
Iraq has also hosted three rounds of direct talks between Iranian and Saudi delegations. The fourth round, however, has been postponed to a time convenient to both sides.
Late in April, Tehran welcomed “a change in Saudi Arabia’s tone” towards the Islamic Republic, as
observed in Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s earlier interview, during which he said he wanted to have a “good and distinguished relationship” with Iran, striking a different tone from Riyadh’s usual demonization of Tehran.
Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, has reaffirmed the country’s policy to promote ties with neighbors and regional countries and has made dialogue with neighbors one of his administration’s priorities.
Raisi has also welcomed a thaw in Tehran-Riyadh ties and said “there is no impediment to relations with Saudi Arabia and all the countries in the region.”