Emmanuel Macron and Abdallah II want a new “Baghdad Conference”

French President Emmanuel Macron and King Abdullah II of Jordan called on Wednesday for the holding as soon as “as soon as possible” of a new conference on issues in the Middle East, bringing together Iran and Saudi Arabia, such as that of Badgad in August 2021. During an interview at the Elysee Palace, the two leaders “addressed regional issues, in particular the Iranian nuclear issue, the fight against terrorism and the situation in Iraq”, indicated the French presidency.

“Reopening a political horizon of peace” between Israel and Palestine

“In the current regional context, the two heads of state agreed on the need to hold, as soon as possible, a new conference in the format of the August 2021 Baghdad Conference,” she added. The Emir of Qatar, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, King Abdallah II of Jordan but also the heads of diplomacy from Iran and Arabia, the two rival powers in the region, had attended this summit.

The French president and Abdallah II also reaffirmed “their commitment to work together, and with the other partners concerned, to reopen a political horizon of peace between Israelis and Palestinians”, continued the Elysée. Emmanuel Macron also reiterated France’s “support for Jordan and other Middle Eastern countries in the face of the food crisis caused by the conflict” in Ukraine.

Lunch at the Élysée

Before this meeting, the president and his wife Brigitte welcomed the king, queen Rania and crown prince Hussein ben Abdallah in the courtyard of the Elysée for a lunch. This meeting marks a “new stage in the strategic partnership” between the two countries and will make it possible to “continue joint work in the face of security and economic challenges”, underlined the French presidency. The two leaders have the common goal of “promoting stability and dialogue”, she also noted.

France is stationing fighter jets in Jordan which have been engaged since 2014 in the fight against jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria. President Macron also pleads for the association of the countries of the region, including Jordan, to broader discussions on the security issues linked to Iran. Nuclear negotiations with Iran are “at an impasse” and no breakthrough is to be expected in the short term, European diplomacy chief Josep Borrell told AFP on Wednesday.

Iraq has had neither a new Prime Minister nor a new government at its head since the legislative elections of October 2021, the barons of political Shiism failing to come to an agreement.

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