The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is scheduled to arrive in Baghdad on Monday for his first trip to Iraq since Russia’s invasion.
The ministry announced on Sunday that Kuleba would meet with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani.
The announcement quotes Ahmed al-Sahhaf, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, as saying that they will be discussing “bolstering bilateral ties, as well as regional and international” matters.
Less than a week after receiving a phone call from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Sudani will be visited by Kuleba.
According to a statement from Sudani’s office, Zelenskyy described Iraq as “a pivotal and influential country” and said he was “keen to develop relations with Iraq in all fields.”
Iraq has neutral stance in Ukraine issue
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Iraq has chosen a neutral posture while keeping strong economic links with both Kyiv and Moscow.
During a visit to Baghdad by his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in February of this year, the Iraqi foreign minister reaffirmed Baghdad’s support for a ceasefire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine.
Iraq has been the site of intensive diplomatic activity in recent months, with numerous rounds of peace negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia taking place there.
The regional powers unexpectedly announced in March that they had reached an agreement to reestablish diplomatic ties, with China playing the role of mediator.
After protestors in Iran attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in the Islamic Republic in 2016 in response to the Saudi death of revered Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, Riyadh severed ties with Tehran.
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