Foreign Policy Digital

Tillerson Notches Rare Diplomatic Win With Saudis and Iraq

After decades of tension and years of U.S. prodding, Riyadh and Baghdad are mending fences.

Last weekend, on a trip to the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson presided over what may turn out to have been a landmark meeting between Iraqi and Saudi leaders — one that signals a notable rapprochement between two longtime adversaries.

The event, cloaked behind the nondescript name of the “Saudi Arabia-Iraq Coordination Council,” was a marked opening in an otherwise frosty relationship. Though the concrete results were minimal — including some smiling photos and a handful of promises publicized by the Iraqi government to deepen economic ties — the symbolism of an Iraqi prime minister making

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