Middle East countries pledge billions for Iraq's post-IS reconstruction

Sisi assigns gov't to transfer Egypt's pioneering expertise to Iraq: Mahlab

Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a conflict with Islamic State militants who seized nearly a third of the country.

The Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (L front) and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (R front) attend the ministerial meeting of the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI) in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Feb. 14, 2018.

"Kuwait will earmark $1 billion in loans to Iraq and will commit to another $1 billion as investments", Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah told an global conference on Wednesday.

Heading a diplomatic delegation, the Iranian foreign minister has travelled to Kuwait to join officials from more than 70 countries and worldwide organizations for the conference on rebuilding Iraq.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday pledged $5 billion in loans and investment for the reconstruction of Iraq after its devastating three-year war with the Islamic State group. Germany pledged 500 million euros ($617 million) and the European Union 400 million euros ($494 million).

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Kuwait will celebrate Liberation Day from Iraq in two weeks and Iraq still pays it reparations.

Iraq, however, still needs far more donations - overall, Baghdad is seeking $88.2 billion in aid from donors.

Among the hardest-hit areas in Iraq is the city of Mosul, which Iraqi forces, aided by a US-led coalition, recaptured from the Islamic State group in July 2017.

The United States also announced that it would be offering a $3 billion credit line but was not providing direct government assistance.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's government is hoping the worldwide community will follow up the end of major combat against IS, with concrete financial support for reconstruction. The fighters have also been largely defeated in neighbouring Syria. It is also counting on a Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement to weaken Iran's influence there.



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