#US Secretary of State #RexTillerson on Sunday pressed the #Trump administration's case for isolating and containing #Iran in the #MiddleEast and beyond as he pushed for #SaudiArabia and #Iraq to unite in common cause to counter growing #Iranian assertiveness. He called for the removal of Iranian and Iranian-supported #militias from Iraq: "Those fighters need to go home. Any foreign fighters need to go home," and urged other countries, particularly in #Europe , to halt any business they do with Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
Shortly before leaving #Riyadh for #Doha , #Qatar , #Tillerson told reporters that an independent and prosperous Iraq would be a foil to Iran's "malign behavior." •
His participation in the coordination council meeting comes as U.S. officials step up encouragement of a new axis that unites #Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a bulwark against Iran's growing influence from the #PersianGulf to the #MediterraneanSea. Amid the push for that alliance, the #Iraqi government is struggling to rebuild recently liberated #IslamicState strongholds and confronts a newly assertive #Kurdish independence movement.
History, religion and lots of politics stand in Tillerson's way, but both the Saudi king and the Iraqi prime minister appeared optimistic about the prospects.
"We are facing in our region serious challenges in the form of #extremism , #terrorism as well as attempts to destabilize our countries," Salman said. "These attempts require our full attention. ... We reaffirm our support for the unity and stability of our brother country of Iraq." •
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi expressed pleasure with "the thriving relations between our two brotherly countries."
"We are open and we want to move away from the past," he said. "The region cannot tolerate any further divisions. Interference in the internal affairs of other state should stop." •
Shiite-majority Iraq and #Sunni -led Saudi Arabia, estranged for decades after #SaddamHussein 's 1990 invasion of #Kuwait , have tried in recent years to bridge their differences.
Tillerson promueve vínculos más cercanos entre Irak y Arabia Saudita El secretario de #Estado de los #EstadosUnidos, #RexTillerson, promovió el domingo la mejora de las relaciones bilaterales entre #ArabiaSaudita e #Irak, como una medida de contrarrestar la creciente presencia militar de Irán en la región.
#Tillerson, que participó en la reunión inicial del #ComitédeCoordinación#ArabiaSaudita-Irak en #Riad, le dijo al rey saudita #Salman y al primer ministro iraquí, Haider al-Abadi, que los vínculos fortalecidos entre ambas naciones formaban "un gran potencial". Citó la reapertura en agosto de un importante cruce fronterizo entre los dos países y la reanudación de los vuelos directos entre #Bagdad y #Riad.
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Saudi King Salman receives US Secretary of State
#Saudi King Salman received #US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Al-Yamamah Palace on Sunday.
During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations, prospects of cooperation between the two countries and latest #developments in the region.
The meeting was attended by #Saudi Ambassador to the #US, Prince Khaled bin Salman, Minister of State and Cabinet’s Member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Minister of State and Cabinet Member Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf and Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.
On the American side, the meeting was attended by Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State, Margaret J.A. Peterlin, Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Riyadh, Christopher Henzel, and a number of officials.
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