Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi met with Saudi
Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his office said on Thursday, a day
after his first official visit to the kingdom which has been wooing Baghdad to
stem the influence of Tehran.Abd al-Mahdi's meeting with the crown prince came after he
met King Salman on Wednesday.
His office said the leaders signed 13 agreements
in areas such as trade, energy and political cooperation, without giving
further details.The premier has said Iraq would maintain strong ties with
Iran, but also with the United States and regional neighbors, many of which,
like Saudi Arabia, consider Tehran a foe.Abd al-Mahdi went to Riyadh with a large delegation including
officials and businessmen, with trade billed as a prime focus of the
discussions between OPEC's two largest oil producers.The countries had historically been at loggerheads since the
Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 but have recently undertaken a diplomatic push
to improve ties.Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia reopened a consulate in
Baghdad which had been closed for 30 years.
King Salman also announced his
country would provide Iraq $1 billon to build sport facilities, an announcement
which kicked of a two-day visit to Iraq by high-level Saudi officials.During his visit to Tehran, Abd al-Mahdi met with President
Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Many of Iraq's
leaders, from its Shi'ite majority, have close ties with Iran, the main Shi'ite
power in the Middle East.