Update: Omani FM In Baghdad To Discuss Easing Mideast Tensions

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 13 (NNN-NINA) – Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf bin Alawi, arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday and held talks with Iraqi leaders over issues of common interests and discussed means to ease tensions in the Middle East.

A statement by the presidency’s media office, said that, Iraqi President, Barham Salih, held a meeting with Alawi, during which Salih asserted that “Baghdad and Muscat can play a significant and influential role on regional issues.”

The Omani minister “asserted that his visit to Iraq is of great importance, to consolidate bilateral relations and unify positions on situations in the region,” the statement said.

The Omani chief of diplomacy also met with Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, who praised Oman’s political role in the region, which he defined as “complementary and identical to Iraq’s role in defusing the current crisis between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” according to a statement issued by Abdul Mahdi’s media office.

In addition, Alawi met with Parliament Speaker, Mohammed al-Halbousi, and the two discussed “the most important challenges and risks of continuing tensions and crises in the region, stressing the need for calm and maintaining stability,” al-Halbousi’s office said in a separate statement.

Earlier, Alawi arrived in Baghdad on an official visit and reportedly met with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim, and they discussed the latest regional developments, ways of confronting terrorism and addressing the challenges facing the region, according to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

After the meeting, the two held a joint press conference in which al-Hakim said, “We have discussed the role that Iraq and Oman can play, in order to ease tensions, and to push for calm through joint Arab action.”

Al-Hakim also said the two sides discussed efforts of combatting terrorism, and prospects of security cooperation to curb potential terror attacks.

Alawi’s visit came amid escalating tension in the Middle East, after U.S. President, Donald Trump, decided not to re-issue the sanctions waivers for major importers, to continue buying Iran’s oil when they expired in early May.

The United States has also increased its military activities in the region recently, citing a threat of Iranian “attack.”– NNN-NINA