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Iraq wants to 'keep away' from U.S.-Iran conflict, Prime Minister Abadi says

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

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq wants to “keep away” from the U.S.-Iran conflict, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Wednesday.

Baghdad wants to maintain a “balance” in its relations with Washington and Tehran, he told an energy conference in Baghdad, explaining that this policy was in Iraq’s interest.

“I’m keeping away from it,” he said, referring to the tension between Iran and the United States.

Abadi also expressed hope that the deal to restrain Iran’s nuclear program would be maintained by Washington.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Kevin Liffey