Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi
A regional summit aimed at promoting cooperation and partnership in the Middle East region opened in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Saturday.
The summit, held in the heavily guarded Green Zone, seeks to discuss political, economic and security issues related to Iraq and the region, according to Anadolu Agency correspondent.
"The conference is held at a critical and historic situation,” Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi said in his opening speech at the summit.
The summit “embodies Iraq's vision for establishing better relations with the countries of the world, and our pledge to our people that Iraq will reclaim its leading role in the region,” he added.
The Iraqi premier voiced hope that “the conference will achieve economic integration among all countries", stressing that "Iraq has taken steps to facilitate investments."
Baghdad seeks to strengthen its economic relations with neighboring countries and open its doors to investments and to establish mega construction projects in areas damaged in the course of the war against Daesh/ISIS.
The conference is attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Also in attendance are Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary-General Nayef Al-Hajraf, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, UAE Vice-President and Ruler of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
Other attendees include representatives from the permanent members of the UN Security Council, G20 countries and the European Union.
*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara
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