Ukraine's Klimkin visits Kuwait for talks with anti-ISIS coalition

Ukraine's Klimkin visits Kuwait for talks with anti-ISIS coalition

Kuwait on Monday opened a week of conferences aimed at enlisting aid to rebuild Iraq after the defeat of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

Kuwait will earmark $1 billion in loans and another $1 billion in direct investments to neighboring Iraq, the country's emir announced Wednesday.

Other global players participating in the conference have also pledged their support, with the European Union promising €400 million ($494 million) in investment and the U.S. extending its $3 billion credit line, but not promising any direct government aid.

"To signal its strong commitments, the Exim Bank and Iraq's Ministry of Finance will sign today a $3 billion memorandum of understanding that will set the stage for future cooperation", Tillerson told a conference on Iraq's reconstruction in Kuwait.

The donations fall a long way short of the $88.2 billion Iraq has said it will need to rebuild the country following several years of war with Daesh.

More than 70 countries would attend the Wednesday meeting.

Iraq has suffered from decades of war and it is striking that it is holding its reconstruction conference in Kuwait, which it invaded in 1990, leading to defeat by a US -led coalition and more than a decade of sanctions.

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"Iraq can not commence the mission of rebuilding itself without support, which is why we are all here today from all around the world, to stand by Iraq's side", he added.

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

"The UN Development Programme's Funding Facility for Stabilisation is working in 25 cities and districts, supporting the return of displaced people to their homes", the UN chief said, adding that 2.5 million remained displaced.

Tillerson also vowed to allocate $200 million to support coalition's efforts against Daesh in Syria.

The United States under President Donald Trump also seems uninterested in directly investing in Iraq's reconstruction. That money would include loans, loan guarantees and insurance devices to encourage American investment in Iraq.

For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged all his country's neighbors to contribute. Saudi Arabia and regional rival Iran are fighting proxy battles in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and elsewhere.

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