• Sunday, Oct 17, 2021
  • Last Update : 05:54 pm

Mideast leaders, France's Macron discuss security, diplomacy

  • Published at 05:13 pm August 28th, 2021
Macron meet
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi speaks during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron ahead of the Baghdad summit in Baghdad, Iraq, August 28, 2021 Reuters

Relationships within the region are strained chiefly by hostility between Iran on one side and the United States and its Arab Gulf allies on the other


Several Middle Eastern leaders and French President Emmanuel acron met in Baghdad on Saturday at a summit hosted by Iraq, which wants its neighbours to talk to each other instead of settling scores on its territory.

Relationships within the region are strained chiefly by hostility between Iran on one side and the United States and its Arab Gulf allies on the other.

Organisers said they did not expect any diplomatic breakthroughs at the summit. "Getting these countries to sit around the table - that will be achievement enough," said one Iraqi government official.

Heads of state attending included President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, King Abdullah of Jordan, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Macron. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates sent their heads of government, and Turkey its foreign minister.

Macron's trip to Iraq over two days aimed to support the regional dialogue, meet Iraqi political leaders and visit French special forces involved in the ongoing fight against Islamic State insurgents.

Shi'ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, longtime rivals for regional dominance, did not send their heads of state or government. Iran said it was sending Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, while Saudi Arabia had not yet announced its representative.

The two countries resumed direct talks in Iraq in April this year, but there has been no significant outcome so far.

Iranian officials have said they are focused more on the outcome of talks in Vienna with Western powers over Iran's nuclear programme and international sanctions.

"The meeting in Iraq ... is only focused on Iraq and how the regional countries can cooperate to help Iraq," an Iranian official told Reuters ahead of the Baghdad summit.

The US-Iran rivalry brought the Middle East to the brink of war after the United States under former U.S. President Donald Trump killed Iran's military mastermind Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike at Baghdad airport in 2020.

Iran-backed militias have launched increasingly sophisticated drone and rocket attacks against US forces stationed in Iraq, and also fired drones at Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia has blamed attacks on its oil installations on Iran - a charge Tehran denies.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail