TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew to Kuwait on Tuesday to attend a conference on reconstruction of Iraq following the fall of the Daesh terrorist group’s self-proclaimed "caliphate”.
Heading a diplomatic delegation, the Iranian foreign minister has travelled to Kuwait to join officials from more than 70 countries and international organizations for the International Conference on the Reconstruction of Iraq, which opened on Monday.
In a statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi described Iraq as a significant friend and neighbor, saying, "We maintain that participation of the international community in the reconstruction of Iraq is a necessary move in the right direction. We call for the unconditional and honest participation of the international community in the reconstruction of Iraq.”
Rebuilding Iraq after three years of war with Daesh will cost $88.2 billion, with housing a particularly urgent priority, Iraqi officials told an international conference.
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq’s economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with the terrorists who seized almost a third of the country.
Iraq declared victory over Daesh in December, having taken back all the territory captured by the terrorists in 2014 and 2015.
About $22 billion will be required in the short term and another $66 billion in the medium term, the director-general of the country’s planning ministry, Qusay Adulfattah, told the conference, without indicating any timeframe.
"Rebuilding Iraq is restoring hope to Iraq, and restoring the stability of Iraq is stabilizing the states of the region and the world,” said Planning Minister Salman al-Jumaili, adding that the reconstruction was therefore also the responsibility of the international community.
The United States does not plan to pledge any money at the Kuwait conference, U.S. officials said.
The United States urged members of the coalition fighting Daesh on Tuesday to help rebuild Iraq or risk the reversal of the gains made against the group there.
The U.S. leads the coalition and hopes that after a three-year fight to defeat the terrorists it can count in large part on Persian Gulf allies to shoulder the burden of rebuilding Iraq.