On Wednesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Iraq’s Minister Adel Abel Mahdi. During the meeting, they focused on attacks on the kingdom’s oil infrastructure, which Washington has blamed on Iran.
The official Saudi Press Agency reported, “The meeting dealt with regional developments, particularly the sabotage attacks on Saudi Aramco plants in Abqaiq and Khurais, stressing Iraqi keenness on the security and stability of the kingdom.”
The attacks of September 14, on state oil giant Aramco, which initially split the kingdom’s crude output and sent global energy markets into a tailspin, have raised regional tensions.
It has been claimed by Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels the responsibility for the strikes, but the US says the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to “an act of war”. Amid the reports that the attack was carried out by Iraq, Baghdad denied any relation to the attacks. Baghdad caught between its two main allies Tehran and Washington.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said there was no evidence the attacks were launched from Iraq. Mahdi’s expression of solidarity with Saudi Arabia comes amid steady warming of ties between Baghdad and Riyadh after decades of strain.
On Wednesday, Iraq Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadban individually held talks with Saudi counterpart Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman reported sources. However, the latest visits between the two countries in recent months have indicated a thawing of ties as Riyadh seeks to counter Iran’s strong presence in Iraqi politics.