Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi - File photo
CAIRO – 21 October 2017: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi commenced on Saturday his regional tour, set to include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordon, Iran and Turkey, to discuss the situation in Iraq.
Abadi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to discuss issues of terrorism and war against the ISIS terrorist group, as well as ways of enhancing economical cooperation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The meeting will also discuss the current political situation in Iraq and the crisis triggered by the Kurdish independence referendum last month.
The Iraqi PM received a telephone call from King Salman bin Abdel Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who expressed opposition to the Kurdish independence referendum.
Al-Abadi appreciated the Saudi kingdom’s support for his country, expressing Iraq’s keenness to boost bilateral relations between the two countries.
Iraq began a military campaign to seize the vital city of Kirkuk and surrounding oil fields, ousting the Kurdish forces that had controlled the region for three years in their effort to build an independent nation in the northern region of Iraq.
The Kurds voted overwhelmingly in a referendum three weeks ago for independence from Iraq. The United States, Baghdad and most countries in the region condemned the vote, fearing it would fuel ethnic division across the region.