Iraq refuses to be used as a middle ground for regional and global conflicts, Iraq Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said at the opening of a summit in Baghdad with several Middle leaders as well as French President Emmanuel Macron.
“We faced many challenges on different levels. The convening of this conference embodies our vision of giving priority to dialogue and partnerships. We reject the use of Iraq as an arena for international and regional conflicts and we reject Iraq being used as a springboard for any threat to any party,” al-Kadhimi said.
“The people of Iraq have invoked the democratic path to determine their options, and that this path is developing through experiments and some of its shortcomings are addressed. There is no return to the past, no return to non-democratic paths, no return to tense relations and absurd wars with neighbors and friends,” al-Kadhimi said.
“We believe that this historic moment is appropriate to say that we, as the countries and peoples of our region, have much greater in common than what divides it, and that the language of goodwill, building trust and opening the doors of cooperation and partnership is the main lever of security and peace for our region, and therefore international peace and security,” he added.
Several Middle Eastern leaders and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting in Baghdad on Saturday at a summit hosted by Iraq, which wants its neighbors to talk to each other instead of settling scores on its territory.
Organizers said they did not expect any diplomatic breakthroughs at the summit.
“Getting these countries to sit around the table – that will be achievement enough,” one Iraqi government official told Reuters.
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. Saudi Arabia is being represented by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.