France FM visits Iraq to discuss reconstruction

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Iraqi officials said at the conference on Monday that it will cost more than $88 billion to rebuild Iraq, with housing a particularly urgent priority.

In an exclusive, Reuters reports that the Trump administration is going into the Iraq reconstruction conference in Kuwait this week with no plans to contribute a dime to the effort.

On Dec. 9, 2017, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of Iraqi forces, officially declared full liberation of Iraq from IS militants after Iraqi forces recaptured all the areas seized by the extremist IS group since 2014. A USA official told Reuters last week, "We're not planning to announce anything" regarding financial assistance at the conference.

The meeting will be co-chaired by Kuwait and Iraq, as well as the UN, European Union and the World Bank.

The projects include rebuilding destroyed facilities, such as Mosul International Airport, and new investments to diversify the economy away from oil by developing transportation, agriculture and industries based on the country's energy wealth, including petrochemicals and oil refineries.

This funding also helps internally displaced people in Iraq return home safely and supports the clearance of explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices in areas newly liberated from Daesh, states the release. During the conference, Çavuşoğlu is expected to announce major infrastructure projects such as hospitals, schools and housing.

US State Department said that rather than "direct contributions", Washington has "focused on the private sector".

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The United States will be a main absentee from plans to contribute to Iraq's finances, U.S. officials say as Baghdad seeks to rebuild the country following a devastating battle against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

The United Nations has warned that the failure of the worldwide community and major powers in the West to help Iraq could lead to renewed instability.

"If the worldwide community doesn't help the government of Iraq to stabilize these areas [devastated by the war] the gains against Daesh could be at risk", she said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

The government appeal was made during an worldwide aid conference that opened in Kuwait on Monday. Baghdad has said it is determined to tackle the red tape and corruption that hamper investment.

Large parts of Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, are still in ruins, more than six months after it was retaken by the government.

Iraq reopened to foreign investment after the 2003 invasion but the vast majority of the billions of dollars invested went to increasing its oil and natural gas production. After decades of war, the global community can not let down Iraq again. Iraqi forces, aided by Iranian-backed Shiite militias and a USA -led coalition, recaptured the city in July 2017.

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