World, Middle East

Iraq assembly speaker, Qatar emir call for better ties

Statements come after handful of Arab states cut relations with Doha, citing ‘national security’ concerns

Iraq assembly speaker, Qatar emir call for better ties Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Salim al-Jabouri

By Arif Yusuf


Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani have agreed to enhance bilateral relations and coordinate efforts to resolve regional crises.

Al-Jabouri has been on an official visit to Doha since Sunday, during which he has met with Sheikh Tamim with whom he agreed to open a new page in bilateral ties.

"Iraq is interested in expanding cooperation with its Arab neighbors and seeks to engage in lasting and fruitful dialog," read a Monday statement issued by al-Jabouri’s office.

The parliamentary speaker went on to stress Qatar’s stated desire “to maintain special relations with Iraq”.

Qatar’s emir, for his part, emphasized Iraq’s regional importance and the need to consolidate bilateral relations between “the two brotherly countries”.

The statements come amid a severe diplomatic row between Qatar and several other Arab states.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen all announced their decision to sever diplomatic relations with Doha, citing “national security” concerns.

In recent years, a number of Iraqi officials, including former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism in Iraq.

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