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Saudi Ministers Visit Iraq while Their King Visits Bahrain

Saudi cabinet ministers met with their Iraqi counterparts in Baghdad on Wednesday to boost economic ties, just as King Salman traveled to Bahrain to discuss bilateral relations. The Saudi delegation of 100 officials was led by Trade Minister Majid Al Kassabi. It attended the second meeting of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, established to help rebuild devastated areas retaken from ISIS. Baghdad is seeking economic benefits from closer ties with Riyadh following the countries’ reconciliation in 2015, when the kingdom reopened an embassy in Baghdad after a 25-year absence. In Bahrain, King Salman met with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the crown prince and the prime minister. They discussed “prospects for cooperation and coordination in various fields,” the Saudi state news agency SPA reported. Saudi Arabia, along with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, have pledged a total of $10 billion in financial aid to Bahrain to help it avoid an economic crisis.