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Iraq's Sadr visits Saudi Arabia for the first time in 11 years

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (R) meets with Leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada Al-Sadr (L) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 30 July 2017 [Bandar Algaloud/Anadolu Agency]

The head of Iraq's Sadrist Movement, Moqtada Al-Sadr, yesterday visited Saudi Arabia for the first time in 11 years.

Information surrounding the visit has not been revealed neither has its duration or which officials he will meet.

Al-Sadr's media office said in a brief statement that he will visit Saudi Arabia upon an official invitation.

Meanwhile, a political source in the Sadrist movement told the Anadolu Agency that "Sadr's visit to Saudi Arabia is a confirmation of the importance of restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq", adding that Al-Sadr will meet with a number of Saudi leaders without specifying their names.

Read: Shia Iraqi militia promises to spread fight to Saudi Arabia

The source, who asked not to be named, said: "Sadr is one of the few Shia clerics in Iraq who call to establish balanced relations with all neighbouring countries."

He explained that Al-Sadr wants to amend the idea that Iraq follows Iran. "Sadr differs with Iran on many issues especially the situation in Syria."

Al-Sadr leads the Sadrist Movement which holds 34 seats in the Iraqi Parliament.

Relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia have improved in recent months with officials from both countries exchange visits after decades of tension.

IranIraqMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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