King Abdullah Becomes First Arab Leader To Visit Iraq

 It’s a story that seems to be making a few headlines in the international press. The unpublicized trip makes it the first from the Arab world. At the top of the agenda seems to be securing Iraqi oil and reestablishing ties that were marred by growing Sunni-Shia tensions.

I honestly don’t have a take on the trip.

On the one hand, it does, in an odd way, highlight the fact that the Arab world has turned its back on Iraq, be it the people (yes, the people) or their governments. And at the same time, this thought only reminds me that Iraq has been conflict-torn for five years now. Five years.

But in all honesty, I don’t have a real tangible viewpoint on the whole thing.

In all honesty, the aim of this post was to hear yours.

16 thoughts on “King Abdullah Becomes First Arab Leader To Visit Iraq

  1. I’m very supportive of this trip. I wish it happened some time ago. By no means does it say that Jordanians supported the war, or the way this government or this particular president came into power. I’m afraid none of the other Arab presidents came into power in more democratic ways but we still have good relationships with all of them.

    Even if we did not like that particular president we have little choice, and it’s much better for us to get closer to their leadership than abandon it. Some Arabs may draw bad conclusions from this trip but it’s better than having Iraqis look at us with suspicion when we really need them. A strong and safe Iraq saves us a lot of nightmares, but how Iraq will stay strong and safe is something that we should stay out of for the time being.

    Now with Saddam and the Baath having a strong emphasis on pan-Arabism, the replacement of his regime by another may be felt as an attepmt to remove Iraq from the Arabic circle. It would be important to bring Iraq back as a key Arab nation.

  2. -We need someone to visit with our man in Iraq …you know to make him look like a legitimate government and all…plus it would give a feeling that Iraq is on the right track…that angle has been a little lost among the whole civil war nonsense.
    -On my way…but wouldn’t look a little bad for me support a militia leaders…
    -You can just say you are soliciting cheap oil…everyone loves cheap oil.
    -I am sure some people would throw around the whole “getting Iraq back to its Arabic circle” and the whole Iran influence bit.
    -Brilliant…now move it.

    Puppet regimes getting together.

  3. I am supportive of the visit. Iraq has finally started to take control of the security and economic situation and it needs the support of the Arab countries. If Arab countries turn their back on Iraq now the Iraqis will lose faith of all Arabs and start being more open to Iran and even the USA. A lot of Iraqis already are disappointed with the general Arab opinion supporting the so-called resistance that has claimed the lives of thousands of Iraqis in secterian violence.
    Iraq needs to build institutions and good governance systems and any step in this direction will be great. It needs the support of all Arab countries.

  4. I support the visit too. It is time to welcome Iraq back.

    I am glad that King Abdullah took the initiative. Both Iraq and Jordan would benefit from such move, and eventually hopefully the whole middle east area.

  5. Good for the King. While there may be many political nuances that make this an issue, the bottom line is that having relationships with its neighbors has never been more important for Iraq. And, frankly, how else are we ever going to get the *%#! Americans out of there (spoken as a true American, no?). I think that building a strong government in Iraq, one that the people can get behind is vital. And, I think that recognition of the reality on the ground by Arab leaders can only help in this. So, no matter what you think of the incumbent, I think the move is the right one… (And I wouldn’t mind a little cheap oil helping prices here, either).

  6. I’m supportive too, but for the right reasons:
    “Upgrading and improving ties with the Baghdad government has long been a US request to its Sunni allies in the region. ” – BBC

    That about says it all, doesn’t it?

  7. when we heard the news last night we were like “THE KING IN IRAQ!” we didn’t believe it from the 1st time hehe
    but again its all about politics, and the 1st thing that came to my mind “conspiracy theory” movie dono why :/

  8. Batir,
    you can support all you want the fact remains Iraq( has not nor ever will ) start taking control of the security or economic situation we are just fooling our selves to even believe that, Mr. Maliki has his own militia and can’t do a thing without the approval of his allies in Tahran, the Kurds want their own state so is the shiats, Ahmad Chalabi is setting on the oil fields and the whole country is being robbed in day light while people are killing the hell out of each others.
    If we think a visit by his majesty or afew Arab leaders to those SEPERATIST who run a secterian government which can’t even get out of the (GREEN ZONE) is going to turn things around and its going to make those pro Iranians in the ( GREEN ZONE ) become pro Arab then we are kidding our selves, Iraq is way more complicated than that, as to the visit, despite his majesty’s good intention and what might benefit Jordan’s oil suplies, the fact remains it will look like as if we did this to please the Americans and it will not change any of the facts on the ground.

  9. What is interesting is the no response from Saddam lovers in Jordan. Aside from Iraq’s local politics, do you think that the Shia majority will Forgive the “Shiite Crescent” comment by King Abdullah? Sectarian politics are not as forgiving as other kinds of politics.

    On a side note, wasn’t the liberalization of the oil market in jordan a step toward economic and political independence from the regional powers? It will be interesting to see where we satnd on that independene continuum.

    Also, anyone knows if the discount on oil will be passed down to consumers, or will it be used for the “Social security net”?

    Oh and Also, the inflation is around 15%, and the government committed to linking salaries to inflation, so should employees expect a 15% raise? Or will we see the same old execuses?

    Lovely!

  10. Once again, his majesty is setting a great example of how we can work on our own benefits as Jordanians and also as Arabs. Iraqis should not be left alone, and quit frankly, Iraq will have a better future and we need to be part of that. Whether we like it or not, Americans have always built the countries they invaded and Iraq has set backs in so many economical and technological aspects that Jordan indeed can be a great help with, of course with the right compensation which surely they can/will afford.

  11. yes its a right move whether we like or dislike the iraqi government, am not sure how sectarian maliki is but he managed (with the american/iranian influence) to lessen the frequency of sunni bombers or shia militias. this government is more representing of the iraqi people than baath previous government. We need to absorb the iraqi shia for now till they balance after long decades of oppression and level up at the decent pan arab system rather than global shia alliances.

    technically, am not sure how the new system in iraq is liable to the debts of the previous one. Then what about all the free oil that we used to recieve?

    Regarding the oil deduction, karkook and other iraqi provinces failed to get constitutional amendment to manage natural resources in a decentralized style.. but karkook as a special case (where we will be getting our oil) will soon face a parliment voting to join kurds decentralized governance. If it joined, how effective will the deals that were signed in baghdad by the central government be?

    On a future promises, Iraq will start going through heavy reconstruction phase estimated by 300 billion dollars. How will Jordan capitalize on that with all accumulated capacity? taking into consideration neighbor countries (small kuwait, distant saudi, non welcomed iran/syria by americans, or kurdish troubled turkey)?

    On all levels it was a right move. Nationally as an arab troubled country (where by the way needs support as palestinians need, as jordan is repositioning on that relationship as well). The other side is paragmatic and justified from a sole economic point of view.

    No one can really know whats coming next in Iraq. An american president will be elected based on his plans there!

  12. Masalha, can you please enlighten us by your vision of the ideal political apparatus in Iraq that we should wait until it emerges? The conditions are not ideal but we should adpat with the need to support any step towards institutionlization in Iraq. When the secular pro Arab Iyad Allawi was in power everyone was against him and we ended up with Maliki. Isolate Maliki now and you end up with the very pleasant figure of Muqtada Sadr.

  13. Batir,
    I’m in no means trying to undermine the step his majesty made, nor his efforts to help improve the conditions in Iraq, my problem is with those seperatists and thieves who are running the country, Iran has too much influence in Iraq and we are not on good terms with the Iranians thanks to (Saleh Algallab ) and others who made it their daily business to attak Iran, as I said in my comment Iraq is way complicated and a visit ( despite every one’s good intentions ) is not going to solve Iraqi’s nightmare, and the fact we have to deal with a seperatist like Maliki fear of having to deal with some one like Muqtada is a lame arguement (with all due respect), Iraq needs a strong leadership one that is not a seperatist nor a sectarian Eyad Allawi was a good example to work with but he was not liked by Iranians nor the Americans and did not get the help needed from the arabs, that leaves the only option to the way out is for the Americans to start dealing with the resistance forces ( I do not mean Alqaida) and work out a solution, we can deny their existance all we want, but they do exist and the only way to get out of the green zone is to start dealing with them.
    As to the waiting part for an Ideal political apparatus to emerge, don’t wait if this is the plan because you’ll be waiting a long time.
    Instead of all this efforts to shine Maliki and make him look as if he is a legitimate leader when infact he can’t go pee ( excuse my language) without consulting with Tahran/DC instead of all that, HEAVY WEIGHT countries like SAUDI and Egypt should get involved to balance Tahran’s influance in Iraq (but I forgot) they also can’t go to pee without Condi’s approval.
    Batir, its a loosing battle and unless the Americans and the Arabs put an end to Tahran’s influence by working with non seperatists non pro Iranians nothing will ever change and eventually Iraq will become three Iraqs as Sudan will become three or four depending on the oil reserves.

  14. It looks like HM has done it again. The man is a genius – as soon as Iraq’s budget surplus was announced, he scrambled over the border fence faster than you can say “please sir, may i have some more”. obviously It doesn’t hurt to show the American their two favorite puppets can work together.

  15. Ok, this is the best scenario where you can’t really tell the black (iris) from the white (masks), yet we will raise our hats for the King for snatching the best shot in the middle of the ciaos taking place in Iraq.
    It is not civil war in Iraq people; the foreign occupation is causing it in corporation with other Iraqi national parties who are giving them a hand.
    And since everybody is turning their official backs on Iraq, for there is too much confusion, I say we take our chance and try our best to succeed economically and politically (OIL). But once you open the door you can’t close it, keeping in mind that Iraqi leaders are bias to some fundamental parties in IRAQ and their neighbors , and they might be ( that is an assumption) not in good terms with what we call a free mortal Arab world. We have tried to prevent the smooth deceiving approach to Amman , the question remain would we be able to stop them now from entering Amman after we opened the door, will we have any excuse to stop their religious leaders from entering Amman?
    My friends this is the danger his majesty was trying to prevent , yet we were forced for economical issues to raise our hands and shake what is left of our hospitality to the Iraqis , it is risky yet it might be good, let’s simply trust the wider vision and keep our fingers crossed.

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