CAIRO: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Adel Abdul Mahdi, the prime minister of Iraq, held a trilateral summit at the Federal Palace in Cairo at the weekend to discuss cooperation on a number of pressing regional issues.
While discussing energy, industrial development and infrastructure, the three leaders issued a joint statement stressing the importance of working with the rest of the Arab world to restore stability in, and find solutions to, ongoing crises in Palestine, Syria, Libya, and Yemen.
They expressed hope that the upcoming Arab League summit in Tunisia could provide a springboard for action on these conflicts, and that the assembled nations might agree a framework around which to share the burden of reconstructing the countries in question.
The statement also stressed the importance of combating terrorism in all its forms and confronting those who support it by funding, arming or providing safe havens and media platforms to political and religious extremists.
This came in the wake of the tragic attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand by a white supremacist gunman, and the declaration that the extremist group Daesh had relinquished control of its final territorial stronghold, the Syrian village of Baghouz, on Saturday.
Amr Hashim Rabie, of Cairo’s Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said: “The summit came at an important time, especially as it dealt with a number of developmental, economic, political and security issues, most notably in combating terrorism.”
El-Sisi and Mahdi also agreed to restart bilateral committees between Cairo and Baghdad which had not been held since 2002, shortly before the invasion of Iraq by a US-led coalition.
Hossam Al-Omda, a member of Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed with Rabie that the timing of the trilateral summit was significant. He cited the escalating events currently underway in the region, especially in neighboring Syria, with the defeat of Daesh and US government recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and increasing tensions in Gaza.