USA secretary of state to soon visit Pakistan to discuss regional situation

Joy Montgomery
October 22, 2017

The chief U.S. diplomat flew into King Salman Air Base a little more than a week after U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a strategy to contain Iran and compel Tehran to agree to close what he charged are flaws in the multinational 2015 deal created to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.

The secretary will also meet with various Saudi leaders to discuss the conflict in Yemen, the ongoing Gulf dispute, Iran, and another - other important regional and bilateral issues.

He added: "We had all very gladly witnessed the landing of the first Saudi Airlines plane, which carried more than 200 Saudi businessmen and officials".

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Riyadh Saturday in a visit aimed at upgrading strategic ties, amid warming relations between the Arab neighbors.

Ties remained strained even after Saddam's ouster in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, since when successive Shiite-dominated governments in Baghdad have stayed close to Tehran.

Iraq lies on the fault line between Shi'ite Muslim power Iran and the Sunni-ruled countries that are its regional arch-rivals, chief among them Saudi Arabia.

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But a flurry of visits between the two countries this year appears to indicate a thawing of ties.

His talks with Saudi officials will focus on efforts to rebuild Iraq after the war on Islamic State and fostering economic and trade cooperation, the statement said.

Saudi Arabia and Iraq are the largest and second largest producers of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Speaking later to reporters, he said Saudi Arabia and Iraq were in agreement on the need to "fully comply" with cutbacks in crude output agreed by Opec, Russia and several other producers to push up prices.

The Iraqi oil ministry said Falih and his Iraqi counterpart, Jabar al-Luaibi, would cooperate in implementing decisions by oil exporting countries to curb global supply in order to lift crude prices.

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