Iraq: Navigating Reform, Collapse and the Status Quo

This virtual conference, part of the Iraq Initiative, will bring together Iraqi and international policymakers, academics and activists to discuss the critical issues for Iraq as it navigates this challenging period.

Research event
23 November 2020 TO 25 November 2020 — 11:15AM TO 2:00PM

In Conversation with Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, Ali Allawi

— Ali Allawi, Iraq's deputy prime minister and minister of finance, talks with Lina Khatib, director of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House.

2020 has seen the advent of crisis after crisis in Iraq: from the assassinations of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis and a series of clashes between US and Iran-aligned militias, to the months-long political crisis over the appointment of a new government, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Iraq’s crumbling healthcare system, the collapse of oil prices and delays in paying public salaries, and rumblings from a resurgent ISIS.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi is attempting to pursue a reform agenda to pull the country back from the brink, but political wrangling over the early elections proposed for next year, ongoing public grievances revealing deeper societal grievances, and escalating violence in the streets may be an indication that Iraq is heading in the wrong direction.

Yet, as Iraq is stuck between reform and collapse, the status quo persists. At the 2019 Chatham House Iraq conference, the country’s transition to a period of peace and stability was on the agenda. A year later, Iraq looks to be in an altogether more precarious place, once again facing the possibility of the outbreak of conflict.

Please note that the conference will take place via the Conference+ platform. Each session will be hosted on Zoom, with simultaneous interpretation available in Arabic and English.

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