Summit in Iraq: Baghdad plays the mediator in a deeply divided region

Baghdad continues to mediate between rival neighbors. This Saturday, April 20, a summit between the various heads of parliaments of the Middle East was held in the Iraqi capital. A complicated diplomatic operation, both the region remains ...


  • Tweeter
  • republish

Senior Officials from Parliaments of Iraq's Neighboring Countries Meet in Baghdad Summit, April 20, 2019. Iraqi Parliament Media Office / Handout via REUTERS

Baghdad continues to mediate between rival neighbors. This Saturday, April 20, a summit between the various heads of parliaments of the Middle East was held in the Iraqi capital. A complicated diplomatic operation, so much the region remains divided.

With our correspondent in Erbil, Noé Pignède

On the agenda of this summit : the political and economic development of the region, and the fight against terrorism. The heads of the Saudi, Kuwaiti, Syrian, Jordanian and Turkish parliaments were around the table as well as a senior Iranian official. Countries with diverging interests.

The opportunity for Iraq, to ​​pose again as a guarantor of regional stability. A complicated diplomatic equation for Baghdad, which is trying to strengthen relations with Saudi Arabia, a US ally, and maintain ties with the Iranian regime.

Since 2016, dialogue has broken down between Riyadh and Tehran. The two major regional powers support rival groups in the war in Syria, as in the conflict in Yemen.

Second difficulty, the question of support for the Syrian regime. Baghdad wants Bashar al-Assad to return to the Arab League. Turkey and Saudi Arabia oppose it.

Only point of agreement between the seven countries after the summit: the desire to rebuild a prosperous Iraq, and revive its economy, at half since the war against the Islamic State organization .

Baghdad thus reinforces its role as mediator in a deeply divided Middle East.

ref: rfi