Saudi Arabia Pledges $1.5 Billion to Help Rebuild Iraq

Kuwait pledges $2 billion for Iraq's reconstruction

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Qatar pledged $1 billion in loans and investments and the United Arab Emirates pledged $500 million but added that there were $5.5 billion in private sector investments in Iraq.

Kuwait's ruling emir says his oil-rich nation will give $1 billion in loans and $1 billion in direct investments to help rebuild Iraq.

It will cost nearly $90bn (£65.1bn) to rebuild war-torn Iraq after three years of bitter fighting with Islamic State (Isis).

"We finished one battle but we are engaged now with a war for reconstruction", said Mustafa al-Hiti, the head of Iraq's reconstruction fund for areas affected by terrorist operations.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made the pledge on Wednesday at a donor's summit at Bayan Palace in Kuwait City.

The magnitude of destruction inflicted on Iraq by terrorist groups could not be overlooked, which requires Iraq to embark on an inclusive reconstruction process that would cover infrastructure and other public utilities; a task that cannot be endured by Iraq alone, and a matter that urges worldwide community to partake and shoulder its responsibility, the emir said.

Overall, Iraq is seeking $88.2 billion in aid from donors.

United States drone destroys Russian tank in eastern Syria's Deir el-Zor
Russia's military has said it had nothing to do with the attack and the USA accepted the claim. Russian Federation launched an air campaign to back Assad's ground forces in September 2015.

However, the country needs far more donations on Wednesday, the last day of an appeal for funding to come forward at the Kuwait conference.

Among the hardest-hit areas is Mosul, which Iraqi forces, aided by Iranian-backed Shiite militias and a US -led coalition, recaptured in July 2017.

The destruction was heaviest in Mosul, where coalition airstrikes and extremist suicide auto bombs destroyed homes and government buildings.

Around US$25b went to Iraq's military, which disintegrated during the lightning 2014 offensive of the Islamic State group, which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq. The United Nations estimates that some 40,000 homes need to be rebuilt in Mosul alone. Saudi Arabia and regional rival Iran are fighting proxy battles in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and elsewhere.

Although the US government was not expected to pledge direct financial aid at the conference, Tillerson said the official USA export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), would sign with Iraq's finance ministry on Tuesday a $3 billion memorandum of understanding "that will set a stage for future cooperation".

"It is time to demonstrate our lasting gratitude and solidarity with the Iraqi people", he said.

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