At a meeting in Baghdad, in addition to rapprochement between the two arch enemies Iran and Saudi Arabia, they will also deal with their proxy conflicts in the region. In addition to Barham Salih (r), President of Iraq, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, is also there. Photo: Ameer Al Mohammedaw / dpa
“We are opposed to turning Iraq into a theater for regional and international conflicts,” said Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kasimi at the opening of the conference on Saturday. The country wants to cultivate relations with other states through cooperation and integration without foreign interference in internal affairs.
French President Emmanuel Macron also took part. The main purpose of the meeting was stability in Iraq, “which will obviously contribute to stability in the entire region,” said Macron. In Iraq, the right conditions must also be created for young people so that they do not drift into “extremism and terrorism,” said Macron.
In Iraq, among other things, the conflict between the USA and pro-Iranian militias has been simmering for years. The conflict reached its climax in early 2020, when the US under President Donald Trump killed the Iranian top general Ghassem Soleimani and the Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis in a rocket attack at Baghdad airport. The pro-Iranian militias are demanding the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq.
In addition to the new Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian, the Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan also traveled to Baghdad. Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia see each other as archenemies. Riyadh fears that Tehran will expand its influence in the region, for example by supporting the militias in Iraq and Syria and the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Since 2019, large numbers of young people in particular have taken to the streets in Iraq to protest against corruption and the poor economic situation, among other things.