UPDATES WITH IRAQI PM'S STATEMENT
By Mohamed Abdel-Ghaffar
KUWAIT CITY (AA) - Kuwait will provide next-door Iraq with $1 billion in loans and another $1 billion in direct investments, Kuwait’s emir said Wednesday.
He made the announcement at an international donors’ conference, currently underway in Kuwait City, for the reconstruction of post-Daesh Iraq.
“The security and stability of Iraq is part-and-parcel of the security and stability of Kuwait and the region,” Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah told conference attendees.
“Current crises and challenges facing the world require the international community to work together at all levels,” he said.
Some 2,300 companies from 70 countries are taking part in the conference, which kicked off Monday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, who is also in attendance, said his country was looking forward to building “strategic partnerships” in the region.
Iraq, he asserted, is working hard to abolish bureaucratic red tape, which he said, hinders economic development.
“We are simplifying procedures,” he added. “And we won’t stop fighting corruption, which is no less dangerous than terrorism.”
He also hailed Iraq’s current investment law, describing it as “one of the best in the region”.
Following a three-year fight against the Daesh terrorist group, which overran much of the country in 2014, Iraq now hopes to secure $100 billion worth of investments to rebuild damaged infrastructure.
Iraq invaded oil-rich Kuwait in 1990 under former President Saddam Hussein, before being forced to withdraw by a U.S.-led military coalition.
Hussein was later toppled following a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2001.