Maliki: U.S. mediating between Iraq and Saudi Arabia

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The United States is mediating to repair ties between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in a televised address on Saturday.

“There is an American role and mediation to restore relations between the two countries; Yes that is what they [Americans] are doing now and have tried before,” Maliki said.

“We have no interest in not having good relations with any country. We want a calm region and we want an Iraq that enjoys [good] relations in the region,” he added.

The relations between Saudi Arabia and the Maliki government have been strained over various regional issues.

Maliki, a Shiite, is close to Iran and supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Iraq has been accused of facilitating the transit of fighters and Iranian weapons to Syria.

During a visit last week to the United States, American officials accused Maliki of pursuing a “sectarian and authoritarian agenda” that gave rise of violence in Iraq.

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