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Iraq to host regional summit

Iraq is hosting a regional summit this month in Baghdad of 'neighboring countries' to include Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein extends an invitation to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for an upcoming regional summit hosted by Baghdad.

The office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced Monday that Baghdad will host a regional summit this month to ease tensions between neighboring states. No date has yet been set.

The summit, dubbed the “Iraqi Neighboring Countries Conference,” extended invitations to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudia Arabia’s King Salman, according to Iraq’s Foreign Ministry. 

Arriving in Iran on Tuesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein also  invited Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi to the conference. Iran’s presidency did not confirm whether Raisi would accept the invitation, but a statement from his office after his meeting with Hussein welcomed the initiative.

Cooperation between the region’s countries without foreign interference is the necessary condition for the region’s stable security,” the statement read.

French President Emmanuel Macron also told Kadhimi in a phone call that he planned to visit Iraq to attend the summit. France has several hundred troops in Iraq and Syria as part of US-led coalition forces against the Islamic State. The trip to Iraq would mark Macron’s second visit to the country in less than a year.

“France is a true partner of Iraq and the two countries have a long history of constructive relations, which we seek to develop in various fields,” read a statement from Kadhimi’s office.

Iraq has taken on a facilitator role between Iran and neighboring states. In April, Baghdad hosted discussions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. 

Kadhimi and US President Joe Biden announced in July that US combat operations in Iraq would conclude by the end of the year.

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