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Will Egypt play a role in Iraqi settlement?

The visit of Ammar al-Hakim, the head of the ruling Shiite Iraqi National Alliance, to Egypt could be an opportunity for Cairo to assume a mediator role to reach a political settlement and active role in the post-IS era in Iraq.
Ammar al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), speaks during news conference with Iraqi Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani in Baghdad, Iraq, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily     - RTSQ39J
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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with Ammar al-Hakim, the head of the ruling Shiite Iraqi National Alliance, in Egypt on April 18. Sisi said, “Egypt believes that it is important to overcome differences between the various political blocs and to thwart attempts to ignite strife and sectarian split in Iraq.” A presidential statement issued following the meeting in Cairo stated that Sisi stressed “the need that all religious communities in Iraq join forces to bring about national reconciliation that would help promote the unity of the national fabric.”

Hakim had launched in late 2016 a political settlement designed “to address sectarian and racist policies against Iraqi Shiites, Kurds, Sunnis and other minorities.” This UN-sponsored settlement involves all political actors in Iraq, except for the Baath Party and Islamic State (IS) in “the development of a framework for the political process in the post-IS era.”

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