January 22, 2018 / 4:42 PM / in 2 months

Iraq invited to attend Syria talks in Sochi as observer, Abadi says

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has been invited to attend the Syria peace talks due in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi at the end of the month, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a tweet on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during a ceremony in Najaf, Iraq January 7, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

It received an invitation from the Russian government to attend the conference as an observer, according to a statement from the Iraqi ambassador to Russia, Haidar Hadi, published on Abadi’s twitter account.

Iraq, which shares more than 500 km (310 miles) of border with Syria, had insisted it should attend the meeting, Abadi said in another tweet.

Abadi proclaimed victory last month over Islamic State, the hardline group which established in 2014 what it called a caliphate over parts of Iraq and Syria.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.

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