More than a month has passed since Mohammed al-Sudani was nominated to become Iraq’s prime minister after a protracted year-long political process (MEES, 14 October). His appointment was swiftly approved by parliament on 27 October.

But the new PM is yet to receive a congratulatory phone call from Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. Saudi communication to date has consisted of two 28 October cordial and similarly worded letters from the King and the Crown Prince that wished the Iran-backed premier “progress” and “advancement” in his new role. On the other hand, both the President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, have phoned Mr Sudani separately. (CONTINUED - 712 WORDS)