An international summit in Baghdad on “regional stability” planned for late November has been postponed due to the ongoing Gaza-Israel conflict, an Iraqi official told AFP on Thursday.
The third edition of the Baghdad conference “for economic integration and regional stability”, co-organised by France, “is postponed until further notice due to the regional events” in the Middle East, said Farhad Alaaldin, adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani.
Alaaldin noted “in particular what is happening in Palestine”, referring to the war that erupted after the October 7 attacks when Hamas killed more than 1,400 people, Israeli officials say, after months of deadly Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank.
More than 9,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza war, including 3,760 children with hospitals, mosques and churches hit in Israeli strikes.
Israeli forces have since launched an intense bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip and sent in ground troops, killing nearly 8,800 people according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Confirming a report by French daily Le Figaro, Alaaldin said the Baghdad summit, which French President Emmanuel Macron was due to attend, had been pushed back “to focus on Iraq’s efforts to reach a ceasefire and help the Palestinian people and their plight”.
He did not say who was behind the postponement or when the summit would be held.
The gathering, which follows one in Baghdad in 2021 and another in Jordan late last year, was announced by the Iraqi and French governments in August with the aim of establishing “a regional agenda in support of Iraqi sovereignty” after years of unrest.
Since the start of the conflict, Iraqi premier Sudani has criticised “the Zionist occupation”, accusing Israel of committing “genocide” against the Palestinian people in Gaza.
Iraq has endured nearly two decades of turmoil since the US-led invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.
The Islamic State group seized roughly one third of Iraq and declared a “caliphate” in 2014, before its defeat more than three years later.
Source : The New Arab