The leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq meet at the Baghdad summit | Iraq News

The tripartite summit marks the first official visit by an Egyptian leader to Iraq since the first Gulf War.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Jordanian King Abdullah II met in Baghdad during the first visit of an Egyptian head of state to Iraq since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.

The first Gulf War broke off diplomatic relations between Iraq and Egypt, but these have improved in recent years with senior officials from both countries exchanging visits.

The summit comes as part of the tripartite cooperation mechanism between the three countries, which held its first round in Cairo in March 2019.

On Sunday, the three leaders discussed several areas of regional interest, including the recent development of the Palestinian question, the fight against terrorism and economic cooperation, a statement from the Egyptian presidency said.

“Leaders have emphasized the need to intensify consultation and coordination between the three countries on the most important regional issues,” he added.

Iraqi President Barham Salih, center-right, welcomes Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, center-left, to his arrival at Baghdad airport [Khalid Mohammed/AP Photo]

The meetings are seen in part as an attempt to neutralize Iran’s influence throughout the region. Al-Kadhimi also aims to support regional alliances and strengthen Iraq’s position in the Middle East as a mediator.

He recently welcomed Iranian and Saudi officials to Baghdad in April, his first high-level meeting since Riyadh severed diplomatic ties with Tehran in 2016.

“This visit is an important message for our people that we are mutually supportive and united to serve our people and the people of the region,” al-Kadhimi said, according to a statement from his office.

Mahmoud AbdelWahed, of Al Jazeera, reported from Baghdad said the summit is not only of economic but also political significance.

“There is in part an intention by Egypt and Jordan apparently to bring Iraq back into an Arab coalition … and also to use the fortunes in Iraq to build or create some trade and investment and development projects. mutual, ”he said.

Wide range projects discussed

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein told a news conference after the meeting that a wide range of topics were discussed, including economic and political cooperation, large-scale industrial projects, and trade. medicine and agricultural pesticides.

The discussions, which were welcomed by the United States, also addressed regional issues including the Syrian crisis, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and the war in Yemen.

“Iraq must be isolated from regional interventions,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told reporters after the meeting, in an apparent reference to Iran’s influence. in the country.

Iraqi President Barham Salih meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi [Khalid al-Mousily/Reuters]

The project of the Great Renaissance of Ethiopia, which Egypt fears will endanger its water supply, was also discussed, he added, and all three countries agreed that a political solution and the return of refugees was necessary to end the Syrian crisis.

“The message of the leaders is to stand together in the face of these challenges,” he said.

Iraq has already signed key economic and trade agreements with Jordan and Egypt.

In November, Egypt signed 15 memoranda of understanding covering sectors from oil to construction and trade. Jordan has imported 10,000 barrels per day of oil from Iraq, but this has been halted due to coronavirus restrictions.

Iraq also plans to build a pipeline destined to export one million barrels per day of Iraqi crude from the southern city of Basra to the Aqaba port on the Jordan’s Red Sea.

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