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Iraq works to rebuild GCC ties as Iranian balancing act gets harder

Rarely short of a timely quote, President Barham Salih told a recent interviewer that “Iraq is coming back to the neighbourhood”. In promoting re-engagement with the Gulf and wider region, Salih was sharing a policy promoted by Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, to force Iraq out of its political and economic isolation to re-emerge as a studiedly neutral player (this time round) in regional diplomacy and commerce. While key elements of his administration remain blocked by domestic politicking (see Politics), Abdul-Mahdi has worked to reposition Iraq in the region.

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