GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait: post 2003 challenges, opportunities and positions towards the Iraqi federal architecture
Paper Proposal Text :
The paper aims to examine the complex triangular relations between Baghdad, Kuwait City and Riyadh focusing on the obstacles still hindering the rapprochement between the 3 actors and their position especially towards the Iraqi Sunni community.
In this framework, after a brief historical introduction, the analysis will describe the effects operation Iraqi Freedom had at the regional level, underlining in particular the challenges (and opportunities) it presented to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
While the two countries have historically established a solid partnership also in the framework of the GCC, their approach towards the Iraqi government presented significant divergences especially since the beginning of 2012. The Iraqi Kuwaiti meetings and the presence of an high level Kuwaiti delegation at the 2012 Arab League summit hosted in Baghdad paved the way for a potential rapprochement which could significantly (and positively) alter the relations between the two countries. At the same time, significant obstacles are still hindering this outcome, as shown by the competition sparked by the huge Grand Fao and Mubarak al-Kabir projects. On the other side, Riyadh-Baghdad relations are far more strained. Their division is deeply rooted in the sectarian conundrum which still haunts the current Iraqi scenario as well as in the ongoing struggle taking place at a regional level. Adding to this desolating picture is the manifest lack of confidence between Iraqi and Saudi leadership which, de facto, seriously limited any real dialogue between the two countries.
The above mentioned scenario will then be completed by an analysis dedicated to the federal/regional debate emerged in Iraq. In particular, this last section will describe the different regional schemes presented by a wide array of political actors, underlining in particular the proposals affecting Sunni-majority governatorates and their potential effect on the delicate Iraqi political scenario.