Jordanian king - first Arab head of state to visit Baghdad since Saddam fall
Jordan's King Abdullah II held talks Monday with Iraq's prime minister after coming to Baghdad on an unannounced visit, the first by an Arab head of state since the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Abdullah urged Arab governments to "extend their hand to Iraq" because a strong Iraq "is a source of strength for the Arab nation," according to a statement released by the royal palace in the Jordanian capital of Amman.
An Iraqi government statement said Abdullah had "frank and positive talks" with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on ties between the two states. Al-Maliki told the king that Iraq wanted to improve relations with all Arab countries, the statement said, according to the AP.
On his part, the monarch voiced Amman's support for Iraqi "efforts to impose stability," the statement added.
The king and Iraqi premier discussed the existing economic and trade relations between the two countries. An Iraqi oil supply to cover part of Jordan's oil demand was also a topic on the agenda, Petra news agency added..
Monday's visit had not been announced. An earlier trip set for last month was canceled because Jordanian officials did not want any advance publicity. Iraqi officials said the visit lasted only four hours and that the king left ahead of the announcement.
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