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What Erdogan missed in skipping Baghdad conference

The Turkish president’s absence from the regional summit in Baghdad underscores the urgent need for Turkey to mend fences with Iraq and rethink the cost of its confrontational policies in the region.
(L to R) Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Sabah, OIC Secretary-General Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, Qatars Emir Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, French President Emmanuel Macron, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Jordan's King Abdullah II, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Nayef al-Hajraf, Irani
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan might have stood out as the most influential participant in the regional conference in Baghdad last week, but his confrontational foreign policies kept him away from the gathering.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu represented Turkey at the Aug. 28 Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership, which brought together Iraq’s neighbors, other regional countries and France. Among Iraq’s other four neighbors, Iran and Saudi Arabia sent their foreign ministers as well, while Jordan was represented by its king and Kuwait by its prime minister. The emir of Qatar, the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and the president of Egypt were other high-profile attendees, while French President Emmanuel Macron stood out as an external actor. He also paid visits to Mosul and Iraqi Kurdistan, two regions critical for Turkish interests.

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