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UAE and Gulf states pledge billions for Iraq

UAE and Gulf states pledge billions for Iraq

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash later tweeted that there were also $5.5 billion from the UAE in private investments in Iraq "in addition" to his country's pledge but it was not clear if this was a new announcement. It instead hopes it can count largely on Gulf allies to shoulder the burden of rebuilding Iraq.

Burgan Bank, a diversified growing financial powerhouse, welcomed one of its majority-owned subsidiaries, the Bank of Baghdad (BoB) delegation to Kuwait who attended the "Invest in Iraq Conference" held in Kuwait City.

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.

The NGOs conference kicked off on Monday as a part of the three-day Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI).

About 70 member countries and global organizations will participate in the ministerial meeting, chaired by the foreign minister of Kuwait Al Khaled-as-Sabbah and the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has pledged $2 billion to the reconstruction of Iraq.

Authorities estimate Iraq needs $88.2 billion to restore a country smashed after the Sunni extremists seized the country's second-largest city of Mosul and a mass of territory in June 2014.

US officials said the thrust of Tillerson's message was that "eyes have to be on the prize" and anything that hinders Islamic State's defeat will impair broader objectives such as a political transition in Syria that ultimately leads to an end of the war and blunts Iranian behavior throughout the region.

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.


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