Iran's Zarif to Take Part in Iraq Reconstruction Conference

Tillerson to address Iraq Reconstruction Conference but promise no US money

USA officials said the United States, which occupied Iraq from 2003-2011 and now leads an worldwide coalition that provided air support against ISIS, does not plan to pledge funds at the Kuwait conference.

The participants of Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI) stressed the importance of the human dimension in supporting the reconstruction of Iraq.

World Bank officials joined Iraqi government representatives on today in Kuwait City to seek pledges from more than 2,000 representatives of global firms in attendance.

Qusay Adulfattah, director-general of Iraq's planning ministry, said Iraq would need $23 billion in the short term to help with rebuilding.

"We finished one battle but we are engaged now with a war for reconstruction", said Mustafa al-Hiti, the head of Iraq's reconstruction fund for areas affected by terrorist operations. Iraq declared victory over ISIL in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015.

That money would include loans, loan guarantees and insurance devices to encourage American investment in Iraq.

The government announced 157 projects in January, including airport repairs and oil development, while calling on companies around the world to invest.


Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili said during the conference that those ignoring Iraq's pleas for financial help were forsaking the security of the entire Middle East region.

Around 138,000 houses and flats have been damaged, with half of them completely destroyed.

At a press conference held on the sidelines of the opening of the KICRI media center, Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said Kuwait host these events to support Iraq and stand by its side.

Non-governmental organizations have pledged $330 million in humanitarian aid, according to Kuwait state news agency KUNA as reported by Reuters. He added there were early indications that some states are willing to do so.

However, the secretary-general of Iraq's Council of Ministers Mahdi al-Alaq said nations could it help by acting as guarantors with global lenders.

Iraq reopened to foreign investment after 2003, with most spent on increasing its oil and natural gas production. Iraqi forces, aided by Iranian-backed Shiite militias and a USA -led coalition, recaptured the city in July 2017. However, the U.S. provided Iraq with over $600 million in humanitarian funding for the fiscal year of 2017, according to U.S. Aid.

Iraq reopened to foreign investment after the 2003 USA invasion, but the vast majority of the billions of dollars invested went to increasing its oil and natural gas production.

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