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Egyptian-Jordanian-Iraqi Summit In Cairo Sunday

Egyptian-Jordanian-Iraqi Summit In Cairo Sunday

Sunday, 24 March, 2019 - 11:30
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (R) and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi at the presidential palace in Cairo. (AFP PHOTO/ HO/ Egyptian Presidency)
Cairo, Baghdad, Amman – Sawsan Abu Hussein, Hamza Mustafa, Asharq al-Awsat
Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, Jordan's King Abdullah II, and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi will hold a three-way summit on Sunday, which will discuss enabling the three countries to achieve economic boom in the future, especially in the field of reconstruction.

Jordanian Royal Court announced that King Abdullah is scheduled to participate in the trilateral summit in Cairo, which will cover economic, trade, and investment cooperation between Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq, as well as the latest regional developments.

Sisi met with Abdul Mahdi on Saturday in Cairo to discuss means of boosting joint Egypt-Iraq cooperation, especially in economic and trade fields.

Sisi began by condoling Abdul Mahdi on the deadly ferry sinking in Mosul on Thursday in which hundreds were dead and injured, expressing Egypt's solidarity with Iraq and its people.

"The visit of the Iraqi prime minister reflects the strength of relations between the peoples and governments of the two countries," Sisi said.

The President thanked Abdul Mahdi for choosing Egypt as his first foreign visit, reflecting the bond the countries share. He considered the meeting an opportunity to celebrate Iraq’s achievements in maintaining security and stability and liberating Iraqi cities from ISIS control.

The talks also dealt with strengthening cooperation in security and combating terrorism, especially to prevent the threat of foreign terrorists spreading.

The Egyptian president called upon the Arab and international community to fight the phenomenon of militants, stressing that terrorism should be eradicated using comprehensive confrontation, including fighting those who supply terrorists with money and arms.

Sisi highlighted "the importance of drying up the sources of terrorism" and said "cooperation between Egypt and Iraq will be essential for this matter," according to an official statement.

The two leaders also touched on economic cooperation based on the capabilities of the two countries, and the desire to benefit from the possibilities and expertise available on both sides in various fields.

The talks particularly discussed the reconstruction of liberated Iraqi areas with the participation of many Egyptian companies and businessmen who had previously worked in the Iraqi market.
For his part, the PM said his country hoped to carry out projects in various fields with Egypt, especially in housing, education, cultural, and transport fields.

Iraq has long seen Egypt as an elder sister, said Abdul Mahdi, stressing his country's desire for having strong ties with other Arab and regional states topped by Egypt.

Abdul Mahdi expressed Iraqi people’s appreciation for Egypt’s leadership and support for his country, and how Egypt represents a cornerstone within the region. He stressed Iraq’s willingness to push relations with Egypt further, strengthening cooperation at all levels.

Prior to his departure to Cairo, Abdul Mahdi issued a statement to the Iraqi people explaining that he had previously declined to make any visits or tours until his ministerial team is complete and his government carries out its program.

“We have already completed the approval of the program and the tasks that were required to be completed during the first months,” he asserted.

Abdul Mahdi expressed his sorrow for leaving the country at such times, referring to the ferry incident, however, he asserted that visit is business trip in nature, which aims to benefit the country and people given the important meetings that will be held and the summit. He indicated that the trip had been organized over two months ago and it is very difficult to postpone it after all the lengthy complicated preparations.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat, member of the parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee MP Alaa Talabani stressed the visit is of great importance both on the level of bilateral relations between Iraq and Egypt and at the level of Iraqi- Arab relations.

Talabani is also a member of the delegation accompanying Abdul Mahdi to Cairo, and she explained that the tripartite summit confirms Iraq has become an important player in the region.

Head of Center for Political Thought, Ihsan al-Shammari, told Asharq Al-Awsat that this visit is important in terms of its timing given that ISIS had been eliminated from Syria, in addition to the escalation between Iran and US.

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