German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for talks with Iraqi officials on bilateral relations and tensions in the Middle East region, according to Iraq’s foreign ministry.
The talks will also tackle ways of “supporting Iraq at all levels, including counter-terrorism”, ministry spokesman Ahmad al-Sahaf told Anadolu Agency.
Following his arrival, Maas held talks with Iraqi President Barham Salih during which the Iraqi leader underlined the importance of bolstering bilateral relations, the Iraqi Presidency said in a statement.
“Germany has an important role in supporting efforts aimed at achieving peace and easing tension in the region,” Salih said during the meeting.
Maas, for his part, reiterated the German commitment to supporting Iraq at all levels.
The top German diplomat is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi during his visit.
Maas is expected to visit Iran on Monday for talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, according to a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry.
The diplomat’s current tour will also include the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan.
Maas’ visit comes amid rising tension between the US and Iran since 2017, when Washington withdrew from a landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).