Kuwait hosts Iraqi reconstruction conference on Feb 12-14
KUWAIT: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah announced yesterday at the foreign ministry that Kuwait will host the international conference for Iraqi reconstruction on Feb 12-14, adding that Kuwait has performed its humanitarian, moral, Arab and Islamic role to help and support the brotherly country of Iraq. He stressed that Kuwait’s support for Iraq “has not stopped and will not stop” until it achieves security and stability. He expressed his congratulations to Iraq on its victory over terrorist organizations.
Jarallah added Kuwait started preparing for the conference since His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah announced the country’s intention to host it. “The conference will give the private sector a chance to participate, and this role will be crystallized through the entry of the World Bank as a major contributor to provide guarantees required for the private sector,” he said. Jarallah stressed that Kuwait informed the Iraqi delegation at yesterday’s meeting of the developmental and investment needs related to the Iraqi people, who are the main pillars of the conference.
On the outstanding issues between the two countries, he said these files are few, praising cooperation by Iraq to resolve outstanding problems and looking forward to resolving the remaining files, noting the meeting of ministers of coalition countries fighting the Islamic State (IS) on Jan 13. “We look forward to this meeting with optimism, and we believe that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, the Gulf Cup and the Gulf parliaments’ meeting are contributing to ending the longstanding crisis,” Jarallah said.
Secretary General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers Dr Mahdi Al-Alaq said $100 billion is the amount needed for the reconstruction of Iraq. “This conference came after a series of meetings with our Kuwaiti brothers to agree on the papers of the conference and their research. The investment opportunities will be announced during the conference. We will prepare investment plans and reports on the volume of damage and the need for reconstruction according to field studies delivered to the World Bank, and will refer during the conference the subject of humanitarian operations in liberated areas,” he said.
Alaq noted that the housing sector had suffered the greatest damage, then the oil and energy sector, along with basic services such as water and sanitation, and the reports include all the details. “At this conference, we look forward to major contributions from the countries of the world and active participation by the private sector,” he added.
Director-General of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) Abdulwahab Al-Bader said that the fund has been in Iraq for many years and at various levels, notably in funding the education sector. “The fund is also preparing for this conference. A team from the fund was present at the end of last year to participate in the preparation of reports for this conference with other stakeholders,” he said.
By Faten Omar