Correspondent in Paris
Emmanuel Macron begins this Saturday a two-day visit to Iraq, to participate in a regional conference and try to advance the French pawns in the archipelago of regional crises, after the western debacle in Afghanistan.
The first objective is to participate in a conference called by the Prime Minister of Iraq, Moustafa al-Kazimi, in which part of Iraq’s neighbors will participate, such as the King of Jordan, Abdallah II, the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi has been invited. Turkey could be represented by its foreign minister.
Emmanuel Macron is the only Western leader guest and co-organizer of the conference, which has a theoretical agenda as ambitious as it is unsolvable: differences between Iranians and Saudis, the instability of Iraq, Turkey’s position in the Middle East, the shock wave of the new Afghanistan.
Macron’s presence at a regional conference was subject to multiple compromises and barely larvae tensions.
It does not seem foreseeable that the conference will provide obviously illusory solutions. On the contrary, President Macron wishes to insist on France’s commitment to its friends and the desire to participate in possible initiatives that dilute the flammable regional, religious, diplomatic, military rivalries.
From a national perspective, Macron wishes to insist on the French determination in matters of security and defense, European and regional, Mediterranean, when Europe is visibly divided and absent in those strategic questions where the future of our civilization is at stake.
Without being able to go much beyond the declarations of intent, the French president is given the intention of scoring points.
Just two years ago, Emmanuel Macron denounced NATO’s “clinical death” status, estimating that Europe’s security was “on the brink”. The Trump presidency and the Afghanistan debacle seem to confirm a diagnosis that has many dramatic fringes. During his 48-hour visit to Iraq, Macron will once again insist on France’s commitment and hope as an actor who hopes to make his projects and dreams audible.