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Kuwait summit promises $30 billion in Iraq reconstruction aid

Kuwait summit promises $30 billion in Iraq reconstruction aid

The U.S. did not directly give at the conference, but it plans to offer over $3 billion in loans and other financing to help American firms invest in Iraq, while Britain said it would grant Iraq export credit of up to $1 billion per year for a decade.

The Middle Eastern nation declared victory over Islamic State in December, having taken back all virtually all the territory captured by the Islamic terror group in 2014 and 2015.

"Since 2004 until today, we provided Iraq around $500 million humanitarian and development aid", Cavusoglu said.

At the beginning of the war in 2014 Islamic State held nearly a third of the territory inside Iraq, and controlled as much as 34,000 square miles across Iraq and neighbouring Syria, as it pushed to establish an ancient caliphate across the Middle East and beyond.

Kuwait, which is hosting an global donors' conference to raise funds for Iraq, pledged $1 billion in loans and $1 billion in direct investments.

Iraq's government is pursuing a hard diplomatic balancing act by trying to maintain good relations with both the USA and its Gulf Arab allies and with their main regional foe, Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended the meeting, skipping a group photograph held before.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose government puts the costs of reconstruction at more than $88bn, said Iraq could not rebuild without outside help.

The announcement came at an global donor conference held in Kuwait for the reconstruction of Iraq following the war against the ISIL terrorist group.

Kuwait says a total of $30 billion in pledges have been made at a summit on rebuilding Iraq after the Islamic State war.

The U.S. and the United Kingdom - countries leading the 2003 invasion of Iraq - also said they would allocate funds for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Iraq has published a list of some 157 projects for which it is seeking investment. The US appreciates the "generous contributions" of coalition members over the past year but more is needed, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a coalition meeting in Kuwait.

"The end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat of ISIS", Tillerson said, according to The Washington Post.

"In Iraq and Syria, ISIS is attempting to morph into an insurgency. We have to work against this ideology, we have to work against (the) financing", he said.

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