French FM in Iraq to discuss post-Daesh reconstruction

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Iraq declared victory over the IS group in December after capturing nearly all of the territory seized by the militants in 2014 and 2015.

Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI) is due to kickoff on Monday amid great aspirations by the Iraqis who are eager for a positive outcome and tangible contributions that will help rebuild their war-torn country.

The presidential assistant also noted that Kuwait's hosting the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq emanated from its humanitarian role, describing Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jabir as "a humanitarian leader".

About $22 billion USA will be required in the short term and another $66 billion U.S. in the medium term, the director general of the country's planning ministry, Qusay Adulfattah, told the conference, without indicating any time frame.

"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilising the states of the region and the world", said Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili, adding that the reconstruction was therefore also the responsibility of the worldwide community.

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The United States, which led the coalition that provided the Iraqi armed forces with crucial air-support in the fight against IS, does not plan on pledging any money at the Kuwait conference, according to American officials. Iraq has been plagued by violence over the past 15 years.

Mahlab highlighted the rise in economic growth rates, noting that Egypt's economic reforms and development plans have actually started to bear fruit but they still need to be given more time to prove their complete success and to really reflect on the daily lives of citizens. About 2.5 million Iraqis remain displaced by the fighting, he added.

Iraq reopened to foreign investment in 2003 after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, but the vast majority of the billions of dollars invested went to increasing its oil and natural gas production. If you believe in collaboration to produce quality neutral journalism for everyone, it is important that you sign up to support our work financially. We will always be there.

"We are at the crossroads, the world now is supporting us, we have to seize the opportunity", he said. We were there to participate in the coalition. "We hope French expertise will be used for the reconstruction", Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari replied.

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