Kuwait to host Iraq reconstruction summit

Kuwait announced Monday (January 8th) it will host an international conference in February on the reconstruction of Iraq, in co-operation with the World Bank and private companies.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah said despite "past wounds", his country had a "moral, humanitarian and Arab" duty to support its neighbour.

"The stability of Iraq is the stability of Kuwait and the region," he said.

In December, Baghdad declared victory over the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) after three years of battling the group.

The Kuwait conference, set for February 12th to 14th, will devote its second day to the role of the private sector and civil society organisations in reconstruction, al-Jarallah said.

Mehdi al-Alaq, secretary general of Iraq's Council of Ministers, said Baghdad and the World Bank had estimated reconstruction would cost at least $100 billion.

"ISIS displaced five million people," he said, speaking alongside al-Jarallah in Kuwait City. "We succeeded in returning half to their areas, but we need international support to return the rest of the displaced."

Al-Alaq said heavy damage also had affected oil, electricity, transport, communications and manufacturing infrastructure as well as basic services such as water and sanitation.

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