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Baghdad Invites Neighbors to Regional Summit, Assad Participation Unclear

Baghdad Invites Neighbors to Regional Summit, Assad Participation Unclear

Monday, 9 August, 2021 - 08:00
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. (AFP file photo)

Baghdad has stepped up its preparations for a key summit for regional leaders it plans on holding by the end of August. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has sent state representatives to deliver formal invitations to attend the conference.

Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein has handed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan an official invitation to attend the summit.

Last week, Planning Minister Khaled Battal Al-Najm handed a written letter from Kadhimi to the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah that included an invitation to attend the conference, according to the Iraqi news agency.

On Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received the Iraqi Defense Minister Lieutenant-General Juma Inad Saadoun.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held talks with his Iraqi counterpart in Riyadh.

They reviewed aspects of Saudi-Iraqi relations and ways to support and enhance them to serve the two countries’ interests.

The two sides also discussed strengthening joint bilateral coordination to contribute to regional stability and preserve international peace and security.

Hussein handed Prince Faisal an invitation from Kadhimi for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz to attend the summit in Iraq.

“Iraq hopes to expand the scope of the regional summit and has sent out invitations to European countries and the US,” an official Iraqi source told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that Baghdad is looking forward to the participation of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

As to whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be invited, the source, who requested anonymity, said they don’t have any information on the matter.

However, they reaffirmed that discussing the situation in Syria is one of the topics slated on the conference’s agenda.

Last June, Baghdad hosted the tripartite summit between Iraq, Egypt and Jordan, within the framework of what Kadhimi called “the New Orient.”

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