Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi is planning his first foreign tour with visits to the United States, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Iraqi officials told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that the tour is expected to start next month.
Two government officials, both of whom spoke separately with The New Arab, said the tour may take place towards the end of July.
Kadhimi formally took office on May 7.
Prime Minister Kadhimi probably wants to mediate between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S., what his successor Adel Abdul Mahdi tried to do.
Iran has been open for dialogue with Saudi Arabia but Tehran has been a fierce critic of the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
However, Iran has rejected the notion of talks with the Trump administration, insisting that the U.S. must first make up for its illegal sanctions measures against Iran.
Moreover, some analysts and politicians are of the opinion that the U.S. killed off any chance for dialogue by assassinating Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in early January.
In a phone conversation in May, President Hassan Rouhani told the Iraqi prime minister that Iran will stand beside the Iraqi government and people.
“As we proved that we stand beside the Iraqi people in fighting Daesh, we will stand beside the Iraqi government to help establish stability and make progress,” Rouhani stated in phone call.
He said Iran attaches great importance to Iraq’s independence, political stability, national sovereignty, and integrity.
“We always have to be careful about plots which target interests of the Iraqi people and the region,” he noted.
Rouhani also highlighted the importance of regional peace and stability.
Elsewhere, he called for expanding economic cooperation and implementing agreements between the two countries.
For his part, Kadhimi said that it is essential for two countries to expand economic relations.
The prime minister described Iran as a “friendly” and “brotherly” country.
“We will never forget Iran’s help to Iraq in fighting Daesh and we seek expansion of relations in various areas,” he said.
Iraj Masjedi, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, met with Kadhimi in May.
“In the meeting with Mr. Kadhimi, bilateral cooperation, continuation of actions regarding the 1975 Algiers Agreement, banking cooperation, Khorramshahr-Basra railway, and visa for the two countries’ citizens were discussed,” Masjedi said in a tweet.
He added that the Iraqi prime minister praised Iran’s efforts in the fight against Daesh- also called ISIS or ISIL.
“Kadhimi considered Iran and Iraq as two friendly and brotherly countries,” the ambassador noted in his tweet.
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