Saudi crown prince meets with prominent Iraqi Shia leader Moqtada Al-Sadr

Moqtada Al-Sadr and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (right) [Credit: SPA]

Iraq’s prominent Shia leader, Moqtada Al-Sadr, recently met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a landmark visit to the Kingdom.

Crown Prince bin Salman met with Al-Sadr at his Jeddah office on Sunday 30 July.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said that they both “reviewed Saudi-Iraqi relations and a number of issues of mutual interest.”

Saudi’s former ambassador to Iraq, Thamer Al-Sabhan, received Al-Sadr at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

Al-Sabhan was reinstated minister of state for the Gulf region after 25 years after tensions with the Iraqi government reached boiling point.

He claimed that Iranian-backed militias were planning to assassinate him.

A statement released on Sunday by Al-Sadr’s press office confirmed that he was invited to Saudi Arabia by the crown prince.

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Al-Sadr has called for the disbandment of Shia militias in Iraq in helping the government fight ISIS.

The Saudi government and its regional allies in the GCC have expressed concerns about Iranian influence over Shia militias, stating that they could be used indiscriminately against Iraq’s Sunni population.

Similarly, Iran has criticised Saudi Arabia for its military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen and its backing of Syrian rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad.

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