World Iraq president, Saudi intel chief talk security cooperation

Iraq president, Saudi intel chief talk security cooperation

Iraq President Fuad Masum
Iraq President Fuad Masum

(AA) – Iraqi President Fuad Masum held talks on Wednesday with Saudi intelligence chief Bandar bin Sultan.

The talks focused on bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern, Saudi’s official SPA news agency reported.

The meeting also discussed proposed information exchanges in terms of fighting terrorism, the Iraqi Presidency said in a statement posted on its website.

Earlier, Masum had held talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal in which the two men discussed bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern.

The Iraqi president arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for his first visit to an Arab country since he came to power in July.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq became strained during the tenure of former Iraqi premier Nouri al-Maliki, who was succeeded in the premiership this summer by Haider al-Abadi.

Saudi Arabia had accused al-Maliki of marginalizing Iraq’s Sunni population, blaming him for ongoing insecurity in the war-torn country.

Baghdad, meanwhile, had accused Riyadh of supporting armed Sunni groups in Iraq.

Saudi Arabia is a leading member of an international coalition against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a militant group that recently overran large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

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