Baghdad security stepped up ahead of regional conference
Iraqi security forces have stepped up their presence in Baghdad, ahead of a regional summit on Saturday.
Hundreds of counter-terrorism officers have been deployed in the Iraqi capital's Green Zone, where the conference is scheduled to take place.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, the army, supported by the federal police, have established themselves at the international airport and other parts of the city.
“The security plan began to be implemented several days ago, and the situation in the capital is very reassuring,” an officer from the Baghdad Operations Command told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister publication, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
“The capital did not witness road closures, and the security deployment was implemented in an orderly manner, and did not affect traffic,” they added.
During the regional conference, Baghdad will be playing host to the Middle East's kingmakers, including the leaders of Turkey, Iran, Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
French President Emmanuel Macron will also be in attendance.
Through the conference, Iraq is hoping to resolve regional issues and mend strained relations.
“Iraq is trying to take advantage of its distinguished relations externally, to search for points of convergence between the parties in the world and the region, in order to address problems by setting an agreed roadmap to resolve these differences in accordance with the common interests of all countries,” Iraqi parliament member Furat Al-Tamimi told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
The buildup to the conference has been overshadowed by the jihadist Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and the recent bombing at Kabul airport has increased security concerns in Iraq.