Friday, November 3, 2023

Iraq summit on regional stability delayed due to Gaza conflict


An international summit in Baghdad on “regional stability” that was scheduled for late November has been postponed due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, according to an Iraqi official. The third edition of the Baghdad conference, co-organized by France, was postponed indefinitely to focus on Iraq’s efforts to reach a ceasefire and support the Palestinian people.

The summit, which was set to be attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, aimed to establish a regional agenda in support of Iraqi sovereignty after years of unrest. However, with the recent escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani decided to prioritize efforts to achieve a ceasefire and provide assistance to the Palestinians.

Iraq’s prime minister has been vocal in his criticism of Israel, accusing them of committing “genocide” against the Palestinian people in Gaza. This stance aligns with the broad support for the Palestinians in Iraqi politics and society. The ongoing conflict has also led to a surge in attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria, who are part of an international anti-terrorist coalition.

Many of these attacks have been claimed by a group through Telegram channels affiliated with pro-Iranian factions. The increase in attacks on US troops is seen as a response to the strong backing that Israel has received from Washington during the conflict. The US has also held Tehran partially responsible for some of the attacks carried out by its regional proxies.

Given the current situation and the need to address the immediate concerns related to the Israel-Hamas war, the Baghdad summit has been postponed until further notice. The focus now is on achieving a ceasefire and providing support to the Palestinian people who are suffering due to the conflict.

The postponement of the summit is a reflection of the shifting priorities in the region. It highlights the urgency of resolving the ongoing conflict and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The international community, including France and Iraq, recognizes the need to prioritize efforts to de-escalate the situation and bring about a peaceful resolution.

While the exact date for the rescheduled summit has not been announced, it is expected that it will take place once the situation in the region stabilizes. The conference aims to foster economic integration and regional stability, which are crucial for Iraq’s long-term development and security.

In the meantime, Iraq will continue its diplomatic efforts to mediate a ceasefire and provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. The country’s strong support for the Palestinian cause reflects the sentiments of its people and their commitment to standing in solidarity with those affected by the conflict.

As the situation in the Middle East remains volatile, it is essential for regional and international actors to work together to de-escalate tensions and find a lasting solution. The postponed Baghdad summit will serve as an important platform for dialogue and cooperation once it takes place, bringing together key stakeholders to address the challenges facing the region and promote stability and prosperity for all.

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