RIYADH: King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi jointly inaugurated the first high-profile meeting of the Saudi-Iraq Coordination Council (SICC) on Sunday, recalling the age-old ties of “fraternity, blood, history and destiny” between the Kingdom and Iraq. US top diplomat Rex Tillerson also attended the landmark meeting.
Addressing the inaugural meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace, King Salman said: “We are facing in our region serious challenges in the form of extremism, terrorism, as well as attempts to destabilize our countries … These attempts require our full attention,” said the king at the SICC, which has been convened to upgrade Saudi-Iraqi strategic ties and counter Iran’s regional influence.
“I look forward to the meetings of the SICC to move toward a broader and more welcoming horizon,” said the king, while welcoming Iraqi and American leaders and officials to the maiden meeting.
Referring to the stepped-up move of Baghdad to curb the menace of terrorism, King Salman said: “We congratulate our brothers on the achievements made in terms of eradicating and defeating terrorism … We reaffirm our support for the unity and stability of our brotherly country of Iraq,” said the king.
He also thanked Secretary of State Tillerson for attending the SICC meeting “which reflects the attention being paid by President Donald Trump and the US administration to the common interests between the US, the Kingdom and the Republic of Iraq.” The king said that the presence of Iraqi premier and US official is indicative of our “commitment to address all outstanding issues and differences.”

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