Iraqi Shi'ite leader visits UAE, strengthening ties with Sunni states

By REUTERS
August 13, 2017 17:43
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

ERBIL, Iraq - An influential Iraqi Shi'ite cleric plans to visit the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, strengthening his ties with Sunni-ruled states of the Middle East.

It will be the second such trip in as many months for Moqtada al-Sadr, who commands a large following among Iraq's urban poor. He visited Saudi Arabia at the end of July .

The Emirati government will send a special plane to fly Sadr to the UAE and return him to Iraq, according to a statement on the cleric's website.

The cleric is one of few Iraqi Shi'ite leaders to keep some distance from Shi'ite Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival and the main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In April, Sadr called on Assad to "take a historic heroic decision" and step down, to spare his country further bloodshed.

Sadr's office said his meetings end July with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, resulted in an agreement to study possible investments in Shi'ite regions of southern Iraq. The Saudis will also consider the possibility of opening a consulate in Iraq's holy Shi'ite city of Najaf, he said.

Sadr also announced a Saudi decision to donate $10 million to help Iraqis displaced by the war on Islamic State in Iraq, to be paid to the Iraqi government.

Baghdad and Riyadh had announced in June they would set up a coordination council to upgrade ties, as part of an attempt to heal troubled relations between the Arab neighbors.

Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Baghdad in 2015 following a 25-year break, and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made a rare visit to Baghdad in February.

Related Content

Breaking news
July 19, 2018
White House rejects Putin proposal to interview U.S. citizens

By REUTERS