GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Throny Issues in GCC-Iraq relations
Paper Proposal Text :
The invasion of Iraq in 2003, created a new phase in Iraq-GCC relations. Pundits expected that these countries will be friends to Iraq after Sadam, and will pump cash and diplomatic support to the new government helping the reconstruction of the \"new Iraq\". But the \"new Iraq\" become dominated by Iran.
I argue that the relations between Iraq after Saddam and GCC countries is characterized by mistrust and tension due to three throny issues. First, the new ruling elite in Iraq, is dominated by Shiites political groups led by Nouri al-Maliki, and backed by Iran, and this turned the Iraqi Shiites in to a model to be followed by Shiites minorities in GCC countries. Since the first parliamentary elections organized in Iraq in 2005, Shiites in Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia imitated Iraqi Shiites in their political and religious activism, in a manner that delegitimized the ruling regime in these countries.
Second, Iraq\'s foreign policies toward regional issues, like the demonstrations in Bahrain, the conflict in Syria, and the nuclear issue, is leaning toward Iran\'s interests and doesn’t reflect an independent Iraq position, or serve regional stability as defined by GCC countries. Third, the security situation in Iraq isnot stable especially after the withdrawal of US combatant troops from in 2012 . Iraq becomes a transit country for the jinahdist groups from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait heading to Syria ,and the willingness of alMaliki government to cooperate with GCC countries in controlling their borders to prevent this movement and to contain the impact of al-Qaida group in Iraq and Jabhat alnosra isnot tested yet.
This paper examines in details these three throny issues , using the official discourse of GCC countries and Iraq. The paper also will end up with alternative strategies for GCC countries in handling relations with Iraq.