Turkey initiates coordination activities for Iraq's reconstruction

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 04.02.2019 00:07

Turkey, the top contributor for Iraq's reconstruction with a $5 billion loan, has launched a coordination process to allocate the funds pledged for rebuilding Iraq.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced the news during a meeting in Istanbul yesterday.

"An inclusive government and reconstruction are the top priorities of Iraq right now. Turkey is the largest contributor to rebuilding the country. We will provide $5 billion," Çavuşoğlu said.

The minister noted that Turkish businessmen will benefit from this loan package for the investments and trade financing necessary for the projects they will undertake in Iraq.

"Iraq still struggles with terrorism, and we are working with the international community to introduce an effective solution to these problems," Çavuşoğlu stressed.

Çavuşoğlu also announced that he will visit the Iraqi capital Baghdad and Irbil soon. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will also pay an official visit to the country after the municipal elections on March 31.

In February 2018, governments from around the world pledged billions of dollars in loans and investments for the reconstruction of Iraq, a nation reeling from a four-year war against the Daesh terrorist group.

Rebuilding Iraq is expected to cost $88.2 billion, with housing a particularly urgent priority, Iraqi officials said.

During the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, the host country pledged $1 billion in loans and $1 billion in direct investments.

Saudi Arabia said it would allocate $1 billion for investment projects in Iraq and $500 million to support Iraqi exports.

Qatar said it would allocate $1 billion in loans and investments, while the United Arab Emirates pledged $500 million in investment.

The European Union and Australia each promised $450 million and $100 million, respectively. While the U.S. - who invaded Iraq in 2003 - said it could provide more than $3 billion to help American firms invest in the war-torn country. Britain had said it would grant Iraq export credit of up to $1 billion per year for a decade.

Iraqi government published a list of 157 projects, for which it sought private investments during the conference last year.

Turkey will help redevelop the cities of Kirkuk, Mosul, Tal Afar, Baghdad, Irbil and Sulaymaniyah through the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) to help Iraqis return to their homes.

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