Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi attended a summit today in Egypt’s New Alamein city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, where Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is hosting the leaders of Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Leaders at the two-day summit will discuss mutual relations, economic cooperation and partnership, and regional security and challenges.
“The summit will discuss various issues of interest to the region, including regional security, joint cooperation, consultation on common issues and industrial integration,” the prime minister's media office said in a statement. “The leaders will also discuss energy, investment and climate change.”
Iraq has continued to develop its relationship with Arab countries during the Kadhimi government in the hope of building regional cooperation and partnership, focusing on economy and security.
Baghdad hosted a tripartite summit with the participation of Jordanian King Abdullah and Sisi in June 2021.
Baghdad also organized a broader conference in August 2021 with the participation of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Qatar and Turkey, aiming to build regional cooperation and partnership.
Iraq attended the Jeddah conference for security and development last July with the participation of US President Joe Biden.
In May of this year, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan entered an industrial partnership for sustainable economic growth with a $10 billion investment fund.
The Arab region is witnessing a new move toward reducing tensions and strengthening cooperation between Arab countries.
Iraq is trying to play a central role in this direction in order to bring stability and security to the country.
Iraq's geopolitical position had turned the country into a battleground for a long time. Therefore, any regional cooperation between Iraq’s neighboring countries will change this situation and provide Iraq with an opportunity to benefit from the economic relationship of these countries.
For that reason, Iraq initiated intermediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Five meetings between Iranian and Saudi national security officials have so far been held in Baghdad.
Also, Iraq proposed to transfer Basra oil from the south to Jordan and Egypt via pipeline, which was raised and supported at the June 2021 tripartite summit.
Also, for the same reason, Iraq signed two agreements with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council for electricity grid connection.
This is while Iraq suffers a hard political deadlock since the October 2021 elections as the two main Shiite groups, the Sadrists and the Coordination Framework, compete over forming a government.
The competition between the two rival groups became confrontational on the streets last month as supporters of the two camps began protesting inside and around the Green Zone, where the majority of government buildings and foreign embassies are located.
Kadhimi called last week for the two groups — among all other political forces — to meet for a national dialogue. This reduced tensions, and the escalation of protests from both sides stopped.
The dialogue is expected to continue into next week.
It is meant to create a roadmap to solve the political crisis via organizing for another early election.
In such circumstances, it is not expected that Iraq’s desire to play a crucial role in regional cooperation and partnership will reach fruitful results.