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Iraq Confirms Ongoing Discussions Between Iran and Saudi Arabia  
Iraqi President Barham Salih speaks at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum on Jan. 22, 2020. (World Economic Forum/Jakob Polacsek)

Iraq Confirms Ongoing Discussions Between Iran and Saudi Arabia  

The détente rumored to be negotiated between sworn enemies Saudi Arabia and Iran received a surprise confirmation on Wednesday, when Iraqi President Barham Salih verified reports of ongoing secret meetings between representatives of the two countries. “It is important and it is significant, and for Iraq to be able to play that facilitating role between these regional actors is important,” Salih said in an interview with the Beirut Institute, revealing that the sides met in Baghdad “more than once.” In recent weeks, as the US holds talks with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal, both Riyadh and Tehran have struck conciliatory tones with one another, despite still conducting several regional proxy battles, chief among them in Yemen. “The Middle East has been condemned to a cycle of conflict and instability over the past few decades,” Salih said. “It’s time to move on.”

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