This article was written by Abeer Mohammad, and was originally published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, iwpr.net. It is reproduced by Iraq Business News with permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Iraqi officials are hoping that hosting the first Arab League summit after the wave of revolutions that swept through the Middle East and North Africa will increase their country’s standing in the region.
“It is very important for Iraq to host this particular summit at this particular time,” Ali al-Mosawi, a media advisor to the Iraqi government, said. He noted that this meeting would see “some officials meet others for the first time” – a reference to new leaders who have emerged from revolutions in Arab states over the last year.
Mosawi said the three-day forum in Baghdad, starting March 29, would discuss the continuing unrest in Syria and Bahrain, and Palestinian issues. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has not been invited.
The agenda also includes restructuring the Arab League itself, after criticism of the way it has acted over the last year.
“Its hierarchy will be reviewed for the first time since it was established more than 50 years ago,” Mosawi said.
For Iraq, the meeting – especially coming at such crucial moment for the region – presents an opportunity to bolster its relations with the rest of the Arab world.