As the dust of war settles in east Mosul and Iraqi forces set their sights on the city's west, the Iraqi government is starting to plan for the post "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) era.
At a January 14th-15th conference in Baghdad attended by Arab parliamentarians and representatives of several neighbouring countries, as well as Egypt and Lebanon, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi laid out a seven-point vision for post-ISIL Iraq.
The vision includes restoring security and stability to areas liberated from ISIL; achieving peaceful co-existence and acceptance of others; promoting the spirit of citizenship away from sectarianism; cultivating good neighbourly relations based on mutual interests; restricting arms to the hands of the state and respecting the provisions of the judiciary and the rule of law; fighting corruption in all its forms; and restructuring state institutions to move them away from corruption.
The Baghdad Dialogue conference, organised by the Iraqi Institute for Intellectual Dialogue and sponsored by the Iraqi parliament, was also attended by a number of academics, NGO representatives and religious figures.
"Iraq today has become the cornerstone of the fight against the forces of extremism and terrorism in the region and the world," said Saad al-Jamal, chairman of Egypt's parliamentary Arab Affairs Committee.
Egypt fully supports Iraq in its war against ISIL, he said, and will support it in "eradicating the scourge of terrorism, reinstating stability to the country and pushing for the return of the displaced to their cities and villages as soon as possible", he told Diyaruna on the sidelines of the conference.
Al-Jamal called on the Arab League and the international community to provide more support for Iraq, stressing Egypt's readiness to take part in the reconstruction efforts.
Dialogue the only way forward
"Iraqis are on the verge of a massive victory over terrorist groups, which creates significant national momentum that should be taken advantage of in the right way in order to set up the next stage," said Nasser Kandil, editor-in-chief of Lebanese newspaper al-Binaa.
Victory over terrorism should not be viewed as the victory of one entity over another, or one side over another side, he told Diyaruna.
"This victory should be for all Iraqis across the entire national spectrum," he said.
He called for ISIL’s defeat in Iraq to pave the way for national reconciliation and for dialogue among the different stakeholders.
"Victory over ISIL is a huge accomplishment that Baghdad should use to restore Iraqi national unity," said Egypt's Al-Ahram chairman Ahmed al-Sayed Naggar.
Speaking with Diyaruna, he called on the Iraqi government to "take advantage of the victory as a platform to reconstruct the country and mobilise its agricultural, tourism and human resources to bring Iraq back to its former economic and political glory".
"Dialogue and national reconciliation are the only way to arrive at a state of political stability following the victory over ISIL," said Marwan al-Kreikshi of the Finnish Centre for Conflict Resolution's Middle East and North Africa department.
Iraqi national dialogue "has to be transparent, honest and built on a foundation of acceptance of others and all different points of view", he said.