Manama: Iraq will not invite any non-Arab country to the Arab summit to be held in Baghdad on March 29, Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki said.

Iraq refuses the idea of inviting non-Arab states to an Arab summit and sees no reason for it, the prime minister told a local television station in an interview to be aired at a date that was not specified.

However, regional and international organisations will be invited to the summit, he said.

Iraqi officials last month said that invitations to the summit had been sent only to Arab leaders, ruling out the presence of Turkey or Iran at the gathering. Both countries had attended Arab summits. Syria whose membership in the Arab League was suspended in November was also ruled out.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity and the European Union are however expected to be represented in Baghdad.

An Iraqi lawmaker, Jawad Al Bazooni, last week said that some countries were not keen on the presence of Iran at the summit and that the Iraqi government responded positively to ensure the success of the first major international event held in Baghdad since 2003.

Iraq hosted the Arab summit in 1978 and in 1990.