August 30, 2021
There has been no indication of a highly anticipated meeting of Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers in Baghdad on the sidelines of a regional conference on Saturday, although Iran’s foreign minister did meet with other Arab delegations.
Iran’s new foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan both attended the Baghdad Conference on Cooperation and Partnership initiated by Iraq and co-sponsored by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Amir-Abdollahian met his counterparts from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, officials from the two Persian Gulf Arab states said, but provided no further details.
There was no indication of any direct meetings between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but Iraq said talks between the two countries, which began in April, were continuing.
Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi (Raeesi) has said his intention is to improve relations with the Persian Gulf Arab states and some analysts regard this as reflected in his appointing Amir-Abdollahian, who held responsibility for Arab affairs as deputy foreign minister (2011-16) and was ambassador to Bahrain from 2007 to 2010.
Heads of state attending included Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, King Abdullah of Jordan, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Macron. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates sent their heads of government, and Turkey its foreign minister.