Iraq parliament to host regional powers in Baghdad

Iraq parliament to host regional powers in Baghdad

Iraq will host senior officials from neighboring countries on Saturday, as it carves out a role as a mediator in the region.

The one-day summit will bring together parliament heads from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and Kuwait, a parliamentary spokesman told AFP.

Iran will be represented by a “senior official,” the spokesman said.

The conference will be hosted by Iraq’s youngest-ever speaker of parliament Mohammed al-Halbusi, 38, who said on Friday Iraq was “honored by the presence of its neighbors in Baghdad.”

Hours earlier, he had welcomed Syria’s parliament chief Hammudeh Sabbagh, who landed in the Iraqi capital on Thursday night with a large delegation.

Iraq has long been at the center of a struggle for influence between regional and international powers, notably neighboring Iran and the United States.

But more recently, Baghdad has sought to fashion itself as a mediator among rivals in the Middle East and beyond.

As part of its new regional role, Baghdad has sought to bring Syria back into the Arab League.

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