Saudi king declines visit from Iraq’s prime minister


The  Washington Post reported Adbullah refused to receive Maliki before the regional summit on Iraq security set for next weekbecause the Sunni leader is skeptical of Maliki’s Shiite government.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari however, said the report was "not true," although he acknowledged a requested visit had been denied.

"This time the Saudi king, his schedule was not suitable for this timing," Zebari told CNN.

"So they did not decline it, but they said the king has an internal tour which he does every now and again. So we couldn’t agree on the timing," he said.

The apparent snub comes as Saudi Arabia, long a US ally in the Middle East, has been increasing critical of the US-backed Iraqi government and the US role in the violence-wracked country.

In March, Abdullah called the US troop presence in Iraq an "illegitimate foreign occupation," in a stinging repudiation of US military venture.

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