Middle Eastern newspapers are abuzz with speculation as a meeting of Iraq's neighbours designed to bring peace and stability to the country opens in Egypt.
Most papers are pessimistic. Several think the meeting will be useless without a frank admission by the US of its failures in the region and a promise to set a date to withdraw troops.
However, some eagerly await a potential meeting between the US and Iranian foreign ministers. One Iranian paper says that even if nothing else comes out of the meeting, it would be an important step for the two to start talking.
ATIF AL-GHAMRI IN IRAQ'S AL-MU'TAMAR
Irrespective of the goals and outcomes of Sharm al-Shaykh conference, an Arab view is still needed to solve the situation in Iraq. It is not in the Arabs' interest for Iraq to turn into a breeding ground for terrorism to be exported later to the entire region.
JASIM AL-SAGHIR IN IRAQ'S AL-BAYAN
The International Compact conference is an important opportunity to highlight the Arabs' official and moral responsibility to effectively contribute to creating a favourable climate to help end the Iraqi bloodshed.
The Sharm-al Shaykh meeting is a good opportunity for Iran's to show the capacity and prudence of its diplomacy and take a serious step forward in the international community.
The occupiers know that there are only certain countries neighbouring Iraq that can play a positive influential role in Iraq's affairs. So no big changes are expected for Iraq after the conference.
IRAN'S E'TEMAD-E MELLI
It is not important if nothing comes out of a possible Rice-Mottaki meeting. The important thing is that the two sides start speaking.
AHMAD SAYYID AHMAD IN EGYPT'S AL-AHRAM
The Sharm al-Shaykh conferences represent an understanding by the US administration and Iraqi government that unilateral solutions have failed and that there is a need for regional and international parties, especially Syria, Iran and the major Arab countries, to play a role in getting out of the current impasse.
TARIQ MUSAWRAH IN JORDAN'S AL-RA'Y
What is required from the Iraqi prime minister is that he publicly ask for a schedule to be set for the departure of US and UK forces to end the occupation of his country.
TALAL SULAYMAN IN LEBANON'S AL-SAFIR
Those who think that the meeting will extort from the US administration a frank confession of its failed political project in our region are mistaken.
YUSUF AL-KUWAYLIT IN SAUDI ARABIA'S AL-RIYADH
We are not certain about the ability of the conference to produce sustainable peace in a country that is fighting internally on behalf of regional and international interests.
ZUHAYR MAJID IN OMAN'S AL-WATAN
The high attendance rate at this venerable conference represents a gathering of powers ready to witness a meeting between [US Secretary of Sate Condoleezza] Rice and [Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr] Motakki. There is nothing more important than this meeting at the conference.
WALID AL-ZUBAYDI IN OMAN'S AL-WATAN
The reason for all that is happening in Iraq is the US occupation. Therefore, the conference has to discuss the issue of the US forces' departure and to decide on it once and for all. I do not think that the conference will discuss this issue, which underlines that this meeting is useless.
ABD-AL-BARI ATWAN IN PAN-ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI
The Sharm al-Shaykh conference will conclude by issuing a communique. There will be a photo opportunity and smiles, but, after that, the region will return to its situation and the conditions in Iraq will be even more dangerous and turbulent.
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