Marwan Salem Al-Ali- University professor at the College of Political Science/University of Mosul, specializing in strategic affairs

One of the main reasons for the failure of the Iraqi political experience post-2003 is the foreign relations, as it was subject to two negative equations. The first is the American choice to make Iraq a part of the American project in the region and the world. The second is the failure of the diplomatic system in general, due to the selection of its senior diplomats based on incorrect criteria.
Nearly a year after the formation of Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani’s government, which was formed after a year of severe political crisis, the current cabinet is accelerating its steps towards a new path in Iraqi diplomacy. Since its inception, the Sudani government has adopted and pursued a policy of external openness for Iraq towards regional and international countries, aiming to gain international support for the new government.
The compass of Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani’s government is set towards establishing normal relations with the regional and international surroundings, albeit at a slow pace, according to observers familiar with the Iraqi scene. The foreign file of the Iraqi state post-2003 is one of the most controversial and contentious issues among various political forces, often leading the country to be isolated from its Arab and Gulf surroundings for more than 12 years.
Since assuming his role, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani has conducted visits to numerous regional and international countries, aiming to strengthen Iraq’s foreign relations independently in a way that serves its interests. Al-Sudani focuses during his visits on many files, most notably security and economy, aligning with the challenges faced by his country, as detailed in the following sections.
The Government of Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani Adopts a Policy of External Openness and A Principle of Balance in Foreign Relations
The Prime Minister’s Media Office stated on December 12, 2022, in a press release that Mohammed Shia al-Sudani pointed out that ‘Iraq has adopted the principle of balance in its foreign relations, to enhance its stability and achieve the interests of its people and the security of the region.’ Apparently, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani is attempting to overcome past failures and capitalize on his success in order to enhance the country’s international standing, both within its regional environment and within the international community as well. Iraq’s foreign relations have always been built in an illogical way, especially when countries adopt a superior or arrogant stance in their dealings with Iraq. Mohammed Shia al-Sudani aims to replace this approach with the principle of good neighborliness, mutual respect, and shared interests.

Download PDF