Source AP ©

Saudi Arabia promises to reopen embassy in Iraq, attend US Mideastpeace conferen

Saudi Arabia pledged Wednesday to explore opening diplomatic relations with the Shiite-led government in Iraq, an endorsement long sought by Iraq's U.S. backers.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told the visiting U.S. secretaries of State and Defense that his country will soon send a diplomatic mission to Baghdad "and explore how we can start an embassy in Iraq."

"We expressed our hope that we will work closely with Iraq regarding security aspects, especially terrorism," the foreign minister said.

Al-Faisal also told reporters that Saudi Arabia supports and will attend the Middle East peace conference proposed by U.S. President George W. Bush for later this year.

"When we get an invitation from the minister (Rice) to attend, when this takes place, we will discuss it and we will make sure that we attend" the conference, al-Faisal said.

Saudi Arabia has no diplomatic relations with Israel and its presence at a peace conference with the Jewish State would be a diplomatic breakthrough.

The Arab regional heavyweight has also had frosty relations with the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and has not hidden its suspicions that al-Maliki puts does not have the interests of Iraq's Sunni minority at heart.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thanked her Saudi host for considering diplomatic ties, calling it "an important step."

The Arab world has lagged far behind Europe in placing embassies in Baghdad.

Comments
Moving inexorably towards war
Malaysia complains of faulty Russian Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets
Brexit: The UK's misunderstanding of Democracy
The Amazon and the New Conquistadores
The Amazon and the New Conquistadores
Russians lose faith in their future, get ready for worse
Without INF Treaty, USA can destroy Russian nuclear weapons easily
Malaysia complains of faulty Russian Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets
Without INF Treaty, USA can destroy Russian nuclear weapons easily
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
Putin sees no drama if Russia misses Davos forum
Macron challenges Trump. French independence and croissants at stake
Putin's three days in Singapore mark Russia's major geopolitical changes since 2000
Putin's three days in Singapore mark Russia's major geopolitical changes since 2000
Moving inexorably towards war
Putin dislikes the idea of US army bases coming to Kuril Islands
Putin dislikes the idea of US army bases coming to Kuril Islands
Putin sees no drama if Russia misses Davos forum
How can Americans and Russians understand each other?
How can Americans and Russians understand each other?