Iraq invites Bashar Assad to attend Baghdad summit

TEHRAN, Aug. 16 (MNA) – The head of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force (Hashd al-Shaabi) Falih al-Fayyadh has reportedly invited Bashar Al-Assad to attend the Baghdad summit.

According to Al-Mayadeen, Al-Fayyadh invited Assad in his visit to Damascus. He delivered the official invitation of the Iraqi government to Assad.

At the end of August, a meeting is scheduled to take place in Baghdad in the presence of the leaders of Iraq's neighboring countries (Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia), along with Egypt and France.

With the Iraqi government making arrangements for a regional summit in Baghdad, the region seems to be heading toward a sort of de-escalation that would probably put differences on hold for a while.

The Baghdad conference marks the first time Iraq takes on a diplomatic initiative to soothe tensions in the region beyond diplomatic mediation. Over the past few years, Iraq has sought to calm tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia by mediations and in some cases, shuttle diplomacy. This time, Baghdad is moving beyond mediation to tout itself as a diplomatic venue for countries of the region to meet and address their differences in a public way. 

It is also the first time Iraq holds such a conference since 1990, a move that suggests a resuscitation of Iraq’s status as a regional player.

HJ/FNA14000525000272

News Code 177409

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