Tuesday , October 3 2023

Baghdad to the region: partnership and dialogue

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THE recently-concluded Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership simply indicates that Iraq’s division is in its final days. Therefore, the pursuit of the meeting is considered to be one of the most important achievements of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, who managed to create a conducive atmosphere and brought together nine countries.

He managed to bring these countries, which have many differences, to the table of constructive and frank negotiation.

The other important matter is that holding the summit in Baghdad in light of an unstable security situation would not have succeeded without the confidence in the ability to protect it. This is an important indication of the fact that this confidence in national security must be translated into actions throughout Iraq, which is considered a platform for stability in the region.

This was clearly expressed by Kuwait’s Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled when he said, “The region would never witness stability as long as Iraq remains unstable”. This is especially applicable to the Arabian Gulf states, which consider it as its strategic depth, and its security as Gulf security.

Nonetheless, when “the Capital of Haroun Rashid and Al-Ma’mun and the Capital of the world – Dar Al-Salaam, the house of wisdom”, as described by the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, returns to its role, it will lead to more Arab-Arab and Arab-regional openness, and work on the necessity of prevailing the politics of dialogue and unifying efforts. This will in turn reflect positively on the security of the region and enhance cooperation to completely eliminate terrorism.

Perhaps it is the first time, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, that Baghdad has become the focus of the region and of the international community in terms of heading towards a future that is far away from the language of blood and wars. This is why the American administration appreciated the success of the conference. Also, France’s role, played by President Emmanuel Macron, was of great significance in terms of international confidence in Iraq’s regional role.

There is no doubt that what Baghdad witnessed in the past two days of the mini-conferences is a qualitative leap in strengthening Arab-Arab relations and searching for ways to give priority to common interests over the language of differences.

It is here that the real test of Iran begins, as it participated in this conference, during which its new Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdollahian affirmed good-neighborly relations and readiness to cooperate with all countries of the region.

It must be highlighted that Tehran’s success in the test needs to be translated into reality by rebuilding trust between this country and the Arabian Gulf states. This will happen by stopping Iran from sponsoring and supporting terrorism in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as it is not possible to go to an open and clear dialogue with it when it continues to market a fictional project that will blow up the region and plunge it into a maze of civil and sectarian wars.

Indeed, Al-Kazemi has succeeded in conveying a clear message to everyone that his country is tired of security disturbances and terrorism, and that it is time for its people to rest and return to their civilized role in the region, as well as to emphasize that the Arab world has many commonalities to build on.

All of this needs to continue in this positive path, making it imperative that Baghdad remains the capital of dialogue, by dedicating the outcomes of the conference to joint action among the Arab countries, and expanding the circle of participation in the conference, which we hope will turn into an annual event to be held in one of the capitals of the region.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times