The Iraqi, Egyptian and Jordanian Middle East Arab summit was held in Baghdad on Sunday, the first visit to Iraq by an Egyptian president in 30 years, and the summit was held to enhance the partnership between the three countries in the regional security and economic fields. The historic visit is also a message to the U.S. that Baghdad maintains relations with Iran, but at the same time good neighboring Arab neighbors, according to analysis, at a time when relations between Iraq and Egypt are warming.
Iraqi President Saleh and Prime Minister Qazimi met with Egyptian President Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah II in Baghdad on Sunday. According to a report from Baghdad by a French correspondent, Sisi and the Iraqi leader together sent a strong message that Egyptian-Iraqi relations have deteriorated since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, and that Sisi is the first Egyptian president to visit Iraq in 30 years.
Reports said the tripartite Middle East summit focused on the warming of Egyptian-Iraqi relations, with the summit agenda including regional issues; ways for Iraq, Jordan and Egypt to strengthen cooperation in the areas of security, energy and trade; and issues related to a political solution to the war in Syria and refugees. Although no agreements were signed at Sunday’s summit, the three countries agreed on numerous projects, especially economic ones.
Reports say Iraqi Prime Minister Qazimi has been trying to bring relations with his Arab neighbors closer since he came to power in 2020, opening up a third diplomatic path in addition to maintaining relations with its two traditional allied backers, the United States and Iran. In addition to boosting relations with Egypt and Jordan, the Iraqi government has recently approached Saudi Arabia and made clear its desire to increase the number of political and trade agreements with the kingdom.
Iraq, long excluded from the Middle East political game, now wants to diversify its alliances and try to become a regional mediator. Sunday’s summit was also a “message” to the U.S. that Iraq maintains relations with Iran, but not at the expense of the Arab states, according to an analysis cited by AFP. On the U.S. side, Washington affirmed that it was a “historic visit”. U.S. Department of State spokesman Ned Price said the summit is an important step in strengthening economic and security ties between Egypt, Iraq and Jordan to achieve regional stability.