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Iraq FM in Tehran for talks ahead of planned Baghdad regional summit

Iraq's Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein speaks during a handover ceremony of looted Iraqi antiquities returned by the United States, at the Ministry of foreign Affairs in the capital Baghdad, on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Sabah ARAR / AFP)
Iraq's Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein speaks during a handover ceremony of looted Iraqi antiquities returned by the United States, at the Ministry of foreign Affairs in the capital Baghdad, on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Sabah ARAR / AFP)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein has met his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran, Iranian media reports, as Baghdad prepares to host a regional summit later this month.

The two men discussed “bilateral ties and latest regional and international developments,” the ISNA news agency says.

“It is expected, based on some speculation, that Iraq’s foreign minister will present an invitation to Tehran authorities for Iran to join an international summit in Baghdad,” it adds.

Iran’s official news agency IRNA gives no details of the agenda for Zarif’s talks with Hussein.

Baghdad has said that French President Emmanuel Macron will attend the planned summit, and that Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman have also been invited.

No date for the meeting has yet been announced.

Iraq is seeking to establish itself as a mediator between Arab countries and Iran. Baghdad has been brokering talks between regional heavyweights Riyadh and Tehran since April on mending ties severed in 2016.

Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi, who took office last week, has said he sees “no obstacles” to restoring ties with the Gulf kingdom, and has made improving relations with regional countries one of his administration’s priorities.

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