JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday welcomed the nomination of Haidar al-Abadi as the new prime minister of Iraq to replace divisive incumbent Nouri al-Maliki as "good news".
The nomination was also welcomed by Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi.
Sunni Saudi Arabia had strained ties with Shi'ite Mr Maliki, whom it accused of creating conditions for a jihadist-led offensive by marginalising Iraq's Sunni Arab minority.
"This is the good news I heard lately," the veteran diplomat said during a news conference in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, when asked to comment on Abadi's nomination.
Oil kingpin Saudi Arabia shares more than 800km of border with Iraq and has been alarmed by the jihadist offensive led by Sunni militants who have captured large swathes of its neighbour.
In June, Prince Saud warned of the risks of civil war in Iraq with unpredictable consequences for the region and blamed Mr Maliki's "sectarian policies" for the increased violence there.
Mr Maliki in turn accused Saudi Arabia of supporting "terrorism" in his Shi'ite majority country.
Arab League chief Mr Arabi on Tuesday also backed the nomination of the new Iraqi premier, joining an international chorus of approval for the sidelining of outgoing Prime Minister Maliki.
Mr Arabi "welcomed Iraqi President Fuad Masum's tasking of Haidar al-Abadi to form a new government," a statement said.