Egyptian, Jordanian, Iraqi leaders meet in Baghdad
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi held a tripartite meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Jordanian King Abdullah II here on Sunday to enhance economic ties, security cooperation and regional stability.
The meeting “is an important message to our people that we are mutually supportive and unified to serve our people and the people of the region,” a statement of al-Kadhimi’s media office quoted his opening remarks as saying.
He said that the most important challenges facing the three countries are the COVID-19 pandemic, difficult economic conditions, security and terrorism, according to the statement.
Calling on the three countries to unify their stances, Al-Kadhimi said “we will continue to coordinate on major regional issues, such as the Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni and Palestinian files, to assist our brothers in these countries to bypass the challenges and crises.”
He noted that the three countries are in the stage of implementing projects in the fields of electrical interconnection, agriculture, transportation, and food security, as well as in the development of infrastructure in financial and banking relations, the statement said.
Later in the day, a statement issued after the meeting said that the three leaders agreed to cooperate and coordinate in various areas, including the electrical interconnection and linking gas transport networks between Iraq and Egypt via Jordan, as well as building an oil pipeline connecting the Iraqi oil-hub of Basra to the Jordanian port of Aqaba.
The statement added that Iraq and Jordan support Egypt’s stance on the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River. It stressed the need to activate efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace that meets all legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state.
Earlier in the day, Sisi arrived in Baghdad, marking the first visit by an Egyptian head of state since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 and worsened Iraq-Egypt ties.
Shortly after Sisi’s arrival, King Abdullah II arrived to participate in the trilateral summit that aims to achieve economic partnerships that chart Iraq’s new role in the region.
Al-Kadhimi reportedly seeks to reach out to the Arab world to bolster Iraq’s role in the region as a mediator to solve regional problems, including the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The trilateral meeting was first scheduled to be held on March 27, but was postponed twice due to a tragic train collision in Egypt, and the events affecting the stability of Jordan.
The leaders of the three countries have been working to strengthen economic and trade cooperation over the past few years with three summits being held since 2019.