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Fri 1 Jan 2016 07:46 PM

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Saudi Arabia reopens embassy in Baghdad - report

Kingdom re-establishes formal relations after 25-year shutdown following first Gulf War

Saudi Arabia reopens embassy in Baghdad - report

Saudi Arabia has reopened its embassy in Baghdad, after a 25-year shutdown, which will allow the two countries to cooperate more closely against terrorism, al-Arabiya TV reported on Friday.

The kingdom closed its embassy in Baghdad in 1990, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Its reopening will allow the two countries to cooperate on security and the fight against extremism, the new Saudi ambassador to Iraq, Thamer al-Sabhan, told al-Arabiya.

A thaw in the once chilly relations between Sunni Muslim-ruled Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite-led Iraq could help strengthen a regional alliance against Islamic State militants who have seized territory in Iraq and Syria.

Saudi Arabia has long accused Iraq of being too close to Shi'ite Iran, its main regional rival, and of encouraging sectarian discrimination against Sunnis, a charge Baghdad denies.

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