The harmony between Abadi and Saudi Arabia

Two days ago, King Salman received Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in Jeddah.

This meeting is significant at this time when Iraq is fighting a huge war against ISIS in Mosul and other areas. It appears that Abadi is trying hard to strengthen Iraqi independence and “enable” the Iraqi state to perform its role.

Saudi Arabia restored its relations with Iraq and Riyadh assigned its first envoy Thamer al-Sabhan who later became the Gulf Affairs Minister. Sabhan was then replaced by Abdulaziz Al Shamri. Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir also visited Baghdad.

A difficult task

Abadi’s task is difficult amid internal Iraqi disputes, the dominance of political sectarian affiliations, marginalization of security, increase of corruption, augmented influence of warlords, deep Iranian infiltration, interesting Turkish role and American dominance.

We know that Abadi is a member of the Iraqi al-Dawa Party and we know what the latter is. However, Abadi has with time proven that he has a sense of responsibility and that he first and foremost cares about Iraq’s interest. This is exactly what Riyadh supports Baghdad in.

Iraq and Saudi Arabia have a lot to work on together to strengthen security and revive real economic development and partnerships

Mashari Althaydi

We can say this about Abadi especially that the Iraqi Al-Mada newspaper which is non-sectarian said that after some political parties criticized him, Abadi postponed his visit to Saudi Arabia which was scheduled last Wednesday. The report added that to avoid criticism, the prime minister’s circle announced he will visit Kuwait and Iran after visiting Saudi Arabia.

According to the daily, Abadi said: “We are off to visit regional countries that are neighboring countries in order to communicate and improve bilateral relations.”

Extending a hand to Iraq

During his weekly press conference, he said: “There is a strong Saudi desire to be open to Iraq and this first appeared in 2015 when it was scheduled for late Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal to visit Iraq and supervise the inauguration of the Saudi embassy in Baghdad; however his death prevented this.”

In May, Abadi said Iraq was for all the Iraqis and can accommodate everyone, adding that it must not be monopolized by a certain sect or ethnicity. He also said there are no “second class citizens.” Commenting on neighboring countries, he told the American Al-Hurra satellite channel: “There is a Saudi impression that Iraq follows Iran and there’s a general Iraqi impression that Saudi Arabia supports terrorism. Both impressions are wrong.”

Therefore, Iraq and Saudi Arabia have a lot to work on together to strengthen security and revive real economic development and partnerships. And why not?

I wished this once before and asked: “Will Abadi do it?” We hope he does for Riyadh’s and Baghdad’s sake.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi @MAlthaydy presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.

Last Update: Wednesday, 21 June 2017 KSA 14:53 - GMT 11:53
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.