Iraqi President Barham Saleh receives President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi at Baghdad Airport on Sunday. Courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived in Baghdad on Sunday on a historic visit, the first by an Egyptian leader to Iraq in nearly three decades, ahead of a tripartite summit between his country, Iraq and Jordan.
The leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Iraq are set to hold a trilateral summit on Sunday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the fourth round of talks between the three countries to promote cooperation mechanisms and reinforce political consultation on regional issues.
The summit brings together Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and Jordan's King Abdullah II.
Iraqi President Barham Salih, received El-Sisi at Baghdad on Sunday, Egyptian presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said.
He later met with Prime Minister al-Kadhimi at the government palace at the Green Zone, where both the Egyptian and Iraqi national anthems were played.
"The visit reflects the strength of the long-standing historical relations between Egypt and Iraq … and confirms Egypt's keenness to support and develop these relations towards broader prospects within the framework of the unity of destiny and challenges, and in response to the common interests of the two brotherly countries," Rady added.
The new round of talks aims to "build on what has been achieved during the previous three summits, evaluate development in various cooperation fields, follow up on projects being implemented as part of efforts aiming to support and deepen historical ties between the three countries," the spokesman added.
The summit also is aimed at reinforcing political consultation on means to counter challenges facing the Arab world and the Middle East."
The first trilateral summit was held in Cairo in March 2019, with the second summit held in New York in September of the same year. The third was held in Amman in August 2020.
The past summits saw an exchange of views between the leaders of the three countries on crucial regional issues and common security challenges, as well as means to restore stability in the region.
Upon his arrival, El-Sisi reviewed with Salih means to push the bilateral ties forward and discussed the main regional issues of mutual interest, agreeing on intensifying coordination between both sides in the coming period.
El-Sisi expressed Egypt's aspiration to promote cooperation with Iraq into a sustainable framework of economic integration, particularly in light of the "major" challenges facing the region, as well as the economic and social crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Iraqi president expressed his country's hope to develop the bilateral ties into a strategic partnership in order to help with maintaining regional security and stability and restoring balance to the region.
Egypt plays a pivotal role regionally and internationally, Salih noted.
He also said Baghdad wants to benefit from Egypt's "successful" experiment in implementing developmental projects and adopting economic reforms, in addition to its efforts in addressing terrorism and extremism.
El-Sisi, according to Rady, is set to meet with the Iraqi premier on the sidelines of Sunday's summit to discuss ways to boost trade and economic relations as well as exchange views on several regional issues.
Also, a meeting will be held with King Abdullah II on bilateral ties reinforcement, the Egyptian spokesman added.