Iraq’s Neighbors meet on Crisis
The foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighbors will meet in Damascus in early November, with interim Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari representing Iraq. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Kuwait will all send their foreign ministers. Observers will include Egypt and Bahrain.
This meeting is an encouraging sign. At some points the “6 plus 2” group of Afghanistan’s neighbors plus Russia and the US played an important role in the Afghan crisis, and the ultimate solution of backing the northern alliance plus creating Karzai as a credible Pushtun leader was supported by this group.
The US clearly cannot provide security or services to Iraq all by itself, and cultivating neighbors like Syria and Saudi Arabia rather than alienating them will be important to any US success in the region.