Investment and development pledges for Iraq at $30 billion: Kuwaiti FM

The sun sets behind destroyed buildings in the west side of Mosul

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

Zarif said those statements before participating in an worldwide conference for the reconstruction of Iraq that will be held today in Kuwait.

Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq's economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with Islamic State militants who seized nearly a third of the country. Germany said it would provide $350 million in assistance.

The conference - organised by Kuwait, Iraq, the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank - is seeking funding from donors and investors to rebuild Iraq's destroyed homes, schools, and hospitals, and revive its demolished infrastructure and economy.

However, officials acknowledge a feeling of fatigue from worldwide donors, especially after the wars in Iraq and Syria sparked the biggest mass migration since World War II.

"The Islamic Republic, as a neighbor and friend of Iraq, has always played an active and effective role in fighting terrorist groups and would like to see this role continuing in the form of reconstruction of Iraq", ISNA quoted Alireza Enayati as saying on Tuesday.

The United States under President Donald Trump also seems uninterested in directly investing in Iraq's reconstruction.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the militants in 2014 and 2015. The package will be structured so that the initial amount could rise to as much as $5 billion over several years. That money would include loans, loan guarantees and insurance devices to encourage American investment in Iraq. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended the meeting, but skipped a group photograph held before.

The conference also represents a move by key Sunni states to support Shia Iraq as part of a wider regional power play to curb Iran's influence in the area.

Qatar, meanwhile, remains boycotted by four Arab nations, including three in the Gulf, which has split the typically clubby relations among the nations. The New York Times has suggested failure to obtain the vast sums needed for reconstruction represents "a humiliating blow for the Iraqi government" and could threaten the future of Iraq's Prime Minister, Haider Al-Abadi.

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