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Iraq keen to strengthen cooperation with Saudi Arabia: President

Baghdad, Feb 3 (IANS) Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid said his country is keen to strengthen cooperation with Saudi Arabia at various levels and continue its coordination and consultation with the kingdom on regional and international issues of common concern.

Rashid made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, according to a statement released by the Iraqi Presidency.

It is the Saudi top diplomat’s first visit to Iraq since the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani took office in October last year, reports Xinhua news agency.

During Faisal’s meeting with al-Sudani on Thursday, the two officials “discussed bilateral relations, strengthening cooperation in various fields, and coordination on regional and international issues,” according to a statement released by the media office of the Prime Minister.

In a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein shortly after Faisal’s arrival, they discussed bilateral relations and the latest development in the region, said a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry in Baghdad.

“The relations between the two countries are witnessing a great positive momentum” and the two sides “are working closely to continue the momentum to deepen coordination on the economic and development front and support Baghdad’s efforts to consolidate prosperity, stability, and growth,” Faisal told a joint press conference with Hussein after their meeting.

For his part, Hussein said Iraq was coordinating with Saudi Arabia regarding oil policy within the framework of OPEC and OPEC+, and carrying out intensive cooperation in bilateral trade and investment.

Iraq has been cooperating with Saudi Arabia in the security field and the fight against drug gangs, the top diplomat said, adding the two countries are also strengthening cooperation to reduce the tension in the region.