Forum discusses Iraq impact on AGCC states

DUBAI - Though obscure and ambiguous, the future of Iraq is pregnant with possibilities even a year after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, according to experts who attended a forum organised by Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre on Thursday.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Sat 10 Apr 2004, 12:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 12:58 PM

The one-day workshop - "A year the war and occupation: current situation in Iraq and its ramifications on the AGCC States" - pointed out the main factors shaping Iraq: incoherent US policy; regional meddling in Iraqi affairs; and divisions among Iraqi parties pertaining to the future political system and the nature of the state.

GRC Chairman Sheikh Abdulaziz Sager said the aim of the workshop was to develop views that the AGCC States might be able to adopt in dealing with a changed Iraq. "It is not possible to achieve stability in the Gulf without a stable Iraq nor is any regional security feasible without including Iraq in any such future security arrangements," he added.

The forum pointed out that the Gulf countries could not escape the repercussions of Iraq slipping into a civil war or becoming a breeding ground for extremism, violence and terrorism.

According to the 30 Arab experts at the forum, the events in Iraq have created a new security environment in the Gulf region - Washington's military priorities in the AGCC states have changed with the US intending to build permanent military bases in Iraq; and the level of presence of foreign troops in the future is unclear, especially after the elections in Spain.

Mr Sager pointed out that the Iraq events would have adverse economic ramifications on the AGCC States, especially in the energy sector. "In addition, there is the issue of debts and reparation and the fact that the AGCC states are not represented in the reconstruction process."

On the issue of reforms and the US using Iraq as a test case, the delegates said that the Arab world should admit that there are several drawbacks in their systems.

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