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.”
It is also expected that the issue of “Iraq’s sovereignty” will be raised at the summit, according to observers who spoke to AFP.