- Title: Baghdad summit raises hope among Iraqis of more stability
- Date: 29th August 2021
- Summary: BAGHDAD, IRAQ (AUGUST 28, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TRAFFIC IN BAGHDAD (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI, YASIN YAS, SAYING: "First of all, the summit did not take place at the appropriate time. Because of the difficult circumstances that Iraq is facing now. Secondly, you can't expect that you will solve regional problems with such a conference. You should solve your internal problems first. We have several problems, in the field of education, in the industry, construction, projects, employment for the youth." TRAFFIC IN BAGHDAD
- Embargoed: 12th September 2021 15:31
- Keywords: Baghdad Erbil Iraq Macron Reactions Summit
- Location: BAGHDAD AND ERBIL, IRAQ
- City: BAGHDAD AND ERBIL, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Middle East,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003ESC10ET
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Middle East leaders came together in Baghdad on Saturday (August 28) for a regional conference that Iraq hoped would encourage its neighbors to talk to each other instead of settling scores on its territory.
Heads of state attending included Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, King Abdullah of Jordan, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates sent their heads of government, and Turkey its foreign minister.
French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country co-organised the summit, also attended the event held during his two-day visit of Iraq.
Organisers of the Baghdad summit said they did not expect any diplomatic breakthroughs. "Getting these countries to sit around the table - that will be achievement enough," said one Iraqi government official.
After watching the statements given by participants in the summit, some Iraqi citizens expressed hope that the event, the first of its kind in Baghdad, would contribute to change Iraq's reputation and position in the region by establishing it as a centre for dialogue and cooperation.
To Salam Omar, a Kurdish Iraqi in Erbil, France's support is tantamount for free elections that are devoid of foreign interference.
"It is important that it (France) stands with Iraq as a warning to regional countries to not interfere in Iraqi affairs, that they don't interfere in the Iraqi elections", Omar said.
Others were more skeptical, saying that the summit would not likely solve regional problems and that Iraq should focus on solving internal issues first.
"We have several problems, in the field of education, in the industry, construction, projects, employment for the youth," said Yasin Yas, a Baghdad resident.
Iraqis over the last decades have suffered from wars, crippling sanctions and from the onslaught by Islamic State that at its height occupied about a third of Iraq's territory.
Competition for influence in the Middle East between Iran on one side and the United States, Israel and Gulf Arab states on the other has made Iraq the scene of attacks against U.S. forces and assassinations of Iranian and Iraqi paramilitary leaders.
As their country is heading towards parliamentary elections scheduled for October 10, many Iraqis fear a deterioration of the security situation.
(Production: Haider Kadhim, Maher Nazeh, Kawa Omar, Charlotte Bruneau)
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