NEW REPORT FROM CRISIS GROUP – Saudi Arabia: Back to Baghdad – 22 May 2018

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : THE SAUDIS & AL SADR  & TTHE COMMUNIST PARTY ?

What’s new? After a quarter-century of estrangement, Saudi Arabia has re-opened diplomatic relations with Iraq in an attempt to counter strong Iranian influence. The kingdom seeks a role in post-ISIS reconstruction and has set about forging new political alliances.

Why does it matter?

The Saudi approach to Iraq could offer a sustainable model of patient, long-term engagement. A new approach in Iraq may persuade Riyadh that leveraging its economic and cultural capital – rather than military force and zero-sum politics – will better serve its strategic interests and reduce growing tensions in the region.What should be done? In projecting its influence in Iraq, Riyadh should resist the temptation to transform the country into the latest battleground in a cold war with Tehran. All of Iraq’s bilateral partners should see the country’s stability as their vital interest and work constructively to achieve it.

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