Iraq held the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership, with the participation of nine countries and several regional and international organisations, to boost security and economic cooperation in the Middle East.
During the opening session on Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said in his speech that the convening of the conference embodies Iraq’s vision of establishing “the best relations”, voicing his hope that economic partnerships will be achieved through the gathering, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We hope that the Baghdad conference will be a new station to achieve aspirations of the Iraqi people and the people of the region, and we seek to activate projects and restore life in all cities of Iraq,” al-Kadhimi said.
He added that the Iraqi people defeated the Islamic State (IS) terror group, which is also a victory for all people of the region, as terrorism “is a common danger for all, and eliminating it requires confronting the conditions that allow its growth”.
French President Emmanuel Macron said in his speech that the Baghdad conference “demonstrates partnerships and achieving peace in the region”, stressing that the conference will support Iraq’s sovereignty.
Macron reiterated his country’s commitment to supporting the Iraqi forces and the country’s sovereignty, praising Iraq’s confrontation with the IS.
For his part, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi considered the conference an opportunity for consultation and cooperation to face regional challenges.
Earlier in the day, Iraqi President Barham Salih and al-Kadhimi received heads of states invited to the conference, including Macron, Sisi, Jordanian King Abdullah II, and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The conference also gathered Arab League (AL) Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the newly-appointed Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and other high-level regional and international officials.
On August 26, Salih said that the conference would establish a new order based on common regional security and economic interdependence.
He told local media that the conference “will contribute to easing regional tensions and crises, and support the path of constructive dialogue”.
A day earlier, Nizar al-Khairallah, spokesman of the regional conference, said the conference would focus on economic and investment cooperation, adding that representatives from permanent members of the UN Security Council, the G20 countries, and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq will attend the conference as observers.