Tuesday 24 August 2021 00:02 |politicalNumber of readings: 676Baghdad / NINA / – The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, assigned Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to participate in the regional conference to support Iraq scheduled to be held on the 28th of this month.
According to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA): The Cabinet held its weekly meeting on Monday under the chairmanship of Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah said after the meeting, according to KUNA, that the Cabinet was informed at the beginning of its meeting that the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, to participate in the regional conference to support Iraq, scheduled to be held on Saturday, the twenty-eighth of this month, in coordination with the friendly French Republic, with the aim of supporting the constitutional process in Iraq and supporting it in facing the challenges it faces and strengthening efforts for stability, development, reconstruction and combating terrorism and extremism.
And he continued, “Sabah Al-Khaled briefed the Cabinet of the results of the visit to the country by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and his accompanying delegation, and the content of the talks he held, during which the close relations between the two brotherly countries and ways to strengthen and develop them in various fields and fields, in addition to discussing The latest developments and Arab, regional and international issues of common concern.”/ End 2
Free / Special – WashingtonAugust 23, 2021Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on WhatsAppComments
So far, the intention of French President Emmanuel Macron, Egyptian Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah II to attend the Baghdad summit, which is supposed to be held at the end of this month, has been confirmed.
Iraq has also sent invitations to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UAE and Qatar, but none of these countries has yet confirmed the attendance of their leaders or their representatives to Baghdad.
For political analyst Ahmed Al-Zubaidi, “Iraq’s success in getting the leaders of the three countries, and others from others, to participate in the summit is linked to its success in convincing those countries of the importance of its political role.”
Al-Zubaidi adds that “Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi has achieved important external successes, even as the situation continues to be tense at home, and this means that there is a regional and international desire for Iraq to return to playing an active role in the region.”
Al-Zubaidi added, “With this, we should not only pay attention to the outside, there are several complex internal files that Al-Kazemi must address to strengthen Iraq’s regional strength, the most important of which are security, the economy and services.”
Al-Kazemi, who returned, on Sunday, to Iraq from a visit to Kuwait, had previously sent several messages indicating that Iraq wants to restore its regional role again, which is what the head of the Iraqi Political Thinking Center, Ihsan Al-Shammari, tells Al-Hurra website that it is “possible.”
Al-Shammari adds that “Iraq’s success in bringing together the views of antagonistic countries and bringing them together at the negotiating table, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, and bringing the views of other countries such as Egypt and Turkey closer, proves that Iraq has an important regional role.”
The French Press Agency quoted “sources from around the prime minister” as confirming that the summit aims to give Iraq a “constructive and inclusive role to address the crises afflicting the region.”
But Iraq itself suffers from crises related to the policies of those countries in Iraq.
Turkey, for example, is launching continuous military operations in northern Iraq, with the aim of pursuing the Kurdistan Workers Party, the latest of which have killed civilians, in addition to Yazidi leaders in the Iraqi Popular Mobilization, which officially follows the prime minister’s office.
The water file also represents another challenge, in countries that suffer from high temperatures in the summer, and the lack of water imports in a way that deprives the southern governorates, such as Basra, of clean, fresh water.
Iran shares with Turkey the responsibility for the water file as well, in addition to other files.
As for Iran, the file of its support for armed militias in the country greatly complicates the scene, especially after unconfirmed leaks that these militias launched attacks on Saudi Arabia, from the territory of Iraq.
But analyst Ihsan Al-Shammari says that “the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran is linked to Tehran’s approval of the vision put forward by Riyadh, and Iran seems eager to end the dispute due to what it suffers from international isolation and sanctions, and it also agreed that Iraq would be a mediator.”
The Syrian file also complicates the negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, each of which has supported different parties in the conflict, and Turkey has a major role as well in Syria.
And if Baghdad actually succeeded in bringing the three parties together at one table, this would be a “historic” precedent.
However, Syrian observers do not seem very optimistic about the supposed impact of the summit on the situation in their country.
And last week, a political crisis almost erupted after the head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, Faleh al-Fayyad, conveyed an invitation to Syria to participate in the summit, before the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said that “the invitations are only through it” and that it “is not responsible for other invitations.”
The Syrian opposition, Samir Al-Taqi, says that “there is still a long way to go for things to be reflected on the strategic level.”
Al-Taqi asserts to Al-Hurra that “Syria will remain a subject of intense conflict, and it does not seem that Iran is ready to reduce its influence and give up its positions, while Saudi Arabia will not accept the status quo.”
The Syrian opposition is mortgaging the settlement of the crisis by reaching a conference similar to the European Security Conference, in which it is agreed to deal with the situation in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
“We are still very far from that, although we are getting closer,” he asserts.
So far, the Iraqi organizers have not revealed the details of the files that will be presented during the summit, but government spokesman, Minister of Culture Hassan Nazim said that the focus will be on “establishing security in Iraq and the region and building economic partnerships.”
Nazim confirmed the attendance of “important and basic countries” at the summit, adding that “the summit will come up with important decisions related to the economic field and others related to climate change and global warming.”
Shafaq News/ An informed political source revealed, on Monday, that the Iraqi political forces will hold an important meeting this week with the judiciary and the United Nations regarding early elections.
The source told Shafaq News Agency, “The meeting is scheduled to be held during the next two days, including Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and all Iraqi political forces, to take important decisions regarding the early parliamentary elections and the date for them.”
He added that “the political forces that announced the boycott of the elections, were invited to attend this meeting, which will be attended by the Board of Commissioners of the Electoral Commission and the Supreme Judicial Council in addition to the United Nations.”
And earlier today, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi warned, during his visit to the Tarmiyah region, north of Baghdad, against exploiting the departments, resources and projects of the state for the benefit of the candidates for the upcoming elections scheduled for next October.
The parliamentary elections scheduled for the tenth of October face obstacles and political objections that call for postponing them, secretly or publicly, due to the lack of the appropriate political, security and logistical grounds.
Iraqi political forces are afraid of running for elections due to the lack of equal opportunities for electoral competition and the control of powerful political forces and parties over the state’s resources, capabilities, and addresses for electoral promotion and the exclusion of other opponents.
SULAIMANI — After decades of conflict, Iraq will pitch itself as a regional mediator as it hosts a leaders’ summit this week — despite foreign influence on its territory and a grinding financial crisis.
The meeting in Baghdad on Saturday (August 28) seeks to give Iraq a “unifying role” to tackle the crises shaking the region, according to sources close to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II have said they plan to attend, as has French President Emmanuel Macron, the only official expected from outside the region.
Leaders from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have also been invited.
Kadhimi came to power in May last year after months of unprecedented mass protests against a ruling class seen as corrupt, inept and subordinate to Tehran.
The new premier had served as the head of Iraq’s National Intelligence Service for nearly four years, forming close ties to Tehran, Washington and Riyadh.
His appointment prompted speculation he could serve as a rare mediator among the capitals.
“In the past, under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was a state that was feared and despised in the region and everyone saw it as a threat,” said Iraqi political expert Marsin Alshamary.
After the 2003 US-led invasion, it became “a weak state”, prone to external influences and meddling.
But Saturday’s summit, she said, could be “a positive thing for Iraq”.
– ‘Not just a playground’ –
Renad Mansour of Chatham House said the aim was to transform Iraq from “a country of messengers to a country that is leading negotiations”.
Organisers have been tight-lipped on the meeting’s agenda.
But Baghdad has already hosted closed-door encounters in recent months between Tehran and US ally Riyadh.
The powerful regional arch-rivals had broken off ties in 2016.
If confirmed, the presence of Iranian and Saudi officials this weekend would be notable in itself.
Iraq, for its part, has been caught for years in a delicate balancing act between its two main allies Iran and the United States.
“Theambitionisfor Iraq to not just be a playground but actually have a role potentially as a mediating force,” Mansour said.
Iran exerts major clout in Iraq through allied armed groups within the Hashed al-Shaabi, a powerful state-sponsored paramilitary network.
Since the 2019 anti-government protests, dozens of activists have been killed or abducted.
Some say the killers are known to the security services and despite government promises of arrests, remain at large– due to their ties to Iran.
Shia factions operating under the Hashed are also accused of dozens of attacks this year against US interests in Iraq.
Kadhimi is under pressure from pro-Tehran armed factions, who demand the withdrawal of 2,500 US troops still deployed in Iraq.
– ‘Take back control’ –
Turkey is another regional power with an outsized presence in Iraq.
Ankara regularly targets Iraq’s northwest in operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization.
The Kurdish separatists, who have waged a decades-long insurgency against Ankara, have bases in the rugged mountains on the Iraqi side of the border.
The Turkish operations, have sometimes killed civilians and have irked Baghdad, but it remains reluctant to alienate a vital trading partner.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been invited to Saturday’s conference, though his attendance has not yet been confirmed.
By convening the summit, Kadhimi is also taking a gamble on the domestic front, less than two months before general elections.
Though he is not facing re-election himself, he will have much at stake.
“There will be another coalition government and the different parties will have to settle on a compromise prime minister,” Alshamary said.
Iraq, long plagued by endemic corruption, poor services, dilapidated infrastructure and unemployment, is facing a deep financial crisis compounded by lower oil prices and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Iraqis are struggling,” said Mansour, adding that many were facing “the brunt of corruption”.
“It has been the summer of hospital fires and lack of electricity, drought… and more generally a political system that neither responds to the needs of Iraqis nor represents Iraqis,” Mansour said.
But Saturday’s conference is mainly about the country’s standing in the region.
“Iraq wants to take back control of its trajectory,” said one foreign observer on condition of anonymity.
“Above all, it no longer wants to be subjected to the effects of regional tensions on its territory.”