Egypt is hosting a summit with Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as world powers and Iran nearing the end of 16 months of negotiations to revive Tehran's landmark nuclear deal.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi met with Emirati President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Iraqi caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the Mediterranean city of el-Alamein on Monday, but the official summit is slated for Tuesday.
According to an Egyptian statement, the five-party talks focused on consolidating regional ties and cooperation between their countries, and an Iraqi statement said the talks would discuss regional security along with energy, investment, and climate change.
Neither statement mentioned Iran and the ongoing efforts to restore the deal but many of the Persian Gulf nations – Saudi Arabia in particular — have grave concerns about the Islamic Republic’s activities in the region, fearing that reviving the 2015 accord and lifting sanctions will empower Tehran to expand its destabilizing activities in the region.
Iraq has hosted several rounds of talks between Iran and its regional rival Saudi Arabia, whose ties worsened considerably since 2016, when Riyadh cut ties with Tehran after mobs attacked its embassy in Tehran after Riyadh executed 47 dissidents including the leading Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
There were also talks recently between Iran and Egypt as both governments explore ways to ease decades-long tensions. Diplomatic representation between Egypt and Iran is at the level of interest section offices since the two countries severed ties following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.