Diplomatic sources in Riyadh said on Thursday that the postponement of the visit of Prime Minister Haider Abadi to Saudi Arabia, which was scheduled on Wednesday, came at the request of an Iraqi. The source told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that “the visit will take place soon in Mecca, which was received by King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, yesterday evening, from Jeddah to spend the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan.”
She explained that “Abadi’s visit to Saudi Arabia, which will be his first since taking office, the end of 2014 will come as part of his tour in a number of countries in the region.” The sources said that “the delay is due to internal Iraqi reasons,” without revealing any further details. But observers linked the postponement of the visit with Abadi’s comments on Tuesday, during which he stressed that his country is against any siege on any Gulf state, even if it does not agree with it, a statement that did not satisfy the leaders of Saudi Arabia without doubt.
“The timing chosen by Saudi Arabia to visit Abadi is very bad,” an unnamed Iraqi minister told The New Arab newspaper. “Baghdad is well aware that the timing of the current visit and Riyadh’s insistence on it will suggest that Iraq has taken a biased stance against Saudi Arabia against Qatar, which Riyadh wants to deliver, but it is completely untrue. Iraq’s problems with Saudi Arabia are far greater than ending with a meeting chosen at a bad time. “He said.