Iraqi premier on anti-terror outreach to Saudi Arabia, Iran

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The Iraqi prime minister is reaching out to regional powers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran for support for his anti-terror campaign.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office says he left for the kingdom on Monday, his first stop on a three-day regional tour that will also include Kuwait and Iran. The statement says the visit aims to boost bilateral relations and seeks more cooperation in fighting terrorism.

The visit comes as Gulf Arab states are embroiled in a major dispute with Qatar over allegations the small nation backs terror groups and that its policies, including its support for Islamist groups, threaten the region. Qatar denies the charges and says the decision to isolate it is politically motivated.

Al-Abadi has said that his government will not take sides in the dispute.