News ID: 93623
Publish Date : 25 August 2021 - 21:57

Iraq Invites Iran, Arab States to Baghdad Summit


BAGHDAD (Dispatches) -- Iraq has invited Iran and Persian Gulf Arab states to a summit in Baghdad with the aim of calming tensions which escalated after Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Tehran in January 2016.
Officials say the meeting, which will also discuss the war in Yemen, Lebanon’s crisis and a regional water crisis, could take a step towards Saudi-Iranian rapprochement even though they have yet to say what representation they will send.
Saudi Arabia and Iran worsened resumed direct talks in Iraq in April this year.
Iraqi officials hope that Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi will attend the meeting, planned for Saturday, and expect ministers from Persian Gulf States including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will also come.
“Even if we bring the foreign ministers together at one table this could be considered a breakthrough to end the tensions between Iranians and the Persian Gulf Arabs,” an official close to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said.
A politician close to the premier said Iraq, which hosted the private meetings earlier this year between Saudi and Iranian officials, had received “positive signals” from Tehran and Persian Gulf Arab countries that they were ready for more direct talks.
So far Kuwait has been the only Persian Gulf state to confirm its participation, sending its prime minister.
Egypt and Jordan, both allies of the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies, have been invited to the Baghdad meeting along with Turkey and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Riyadh and Tehran began direct talks in April to contain tensions while global powers held negotiations on reviving a 2015 nuclear pact with Iran, which Saudi Arabia and its allies opposed.
The UAE, an ally of Riyadh, has been in regular contact with Iran trying to de-escalate tensions.
“The prospect of regional conflict, coupled with their perception of Washington as unreliable, have … prompted the Saudis and Emiratis to pursue a limited, tactical, bilateral de-escalation with Tehran,” the International Crisis Group said in a report published on Tuesday.