Baghdad Conference Seen as Regional Turning Point
By Staff, Agencies
A conference in Baghdad on Saturday is supposed to bring together key regional officials and leaders, in addition to the President of France who is in the Iraqi capital.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan's King Abdullah II have said they plan to attend. What is remarkable is that the regional press sees this as an important meeting. Jordan’s al-Ghad called it a turning point.
One official said that this “summit brings together the regional neighbors as well as other countries,” explaining that “Iraq had a special regional role.” The aim of the visit is to “support Iraq and Iraqi people," another official said. "This period is very important for Iraq as we are approaching the elections in October.” French President Emmanuel Macron “wants to express his support for Iraq and the political process and democracy,” a report at The National noted.
Baghdad is hosting on Saturday the Iraq Neighborhood Summit, with wide international and regional participation, and great hopes for the return of Iraq's historical role in the region, local media said. “Since last Thursday, the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has witnessed increased security and military deployment near sensitive government and diplomatic institutions, coinciding with the convening of the summit,” reports noteed.
On Thursday evening, the Preparatory Committee for the Baghdad Conference announced the countries and international organizations that had confirmed their participation in the conference, while specifying a reason for not announcing the names of the participating leaders so far. Apparently, the secretive nature may enable Iranian, Turkish and even Saudi officials to meet; officials from the Gulf may come as well.
"The participating countries are Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, the [United Arab] Emirates and France, in addition to the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation," said the head of the committee, spokesman for the Baghdad conference, Nizar Al-Khairallah, during a dialogue table with a number of media organizations that Al-Ain news followed.