Top Saudi official makes groundbreaking visit to Iraqi capital

Top Saudi official makes groundbreaking visit to Iraqi capital
In the first such visit since 2003, the Saudi foreign minister has arrived in the Iraqi capital for talks.
1 min read
25 February, 2017
Adel al-Jubeir has secretly touched down in Baghdad for high-level talks [Getty]

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir visited Baghdad on Saturday, the first visit by a chief diplomat from the kingdom in more than a decade, Iraqi officials said.

Jubeir met Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, according to an anonymous Iraqi foreign ministry official speaking to AFP.

It is likely the first visit to Baghdad by a Saudi foreign minister since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The visit is a particular surprise given the low ebb of Iraqi-Saudi relations.

Common sentiment among Iraqis holds that Saudi influence encouraged the rise of IS in the country post 2003, a notion vehemently denied in Saudi quarters.

Jubeir has been very active in recent weeks, as part of a Saudi diplomatic push in the region following the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President.

On Monday he suggested that Saudi troops could be deployed in Syria.

Last week US Senator John McCain met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman in Riyadh, and the Kingdom also recently hosted President Erdogan of Turkey.