Despite Old Wounds Kuwait Will Host Iraq Reconstruction Summit
It was announced on Monday that Kuwait will host an international conference in February on the reconstruction of war-torn Iraq. The conference will be in cooperation with the World Bank and Private Companies.
In December, Baghdad declared victory over the Islamic State following three years of war; as Iraqi forces have regained swathes of territory since the Islamist militants seized a third of Iraq and large parts of Syria in 2014. Mehdi Al-Alaq, the Secretary General of Iraq’s Council of Ministers, said that Baghdad and the World Bank had estimated reconstruction would cost at least $100 billion.
The International Organization for Migration said last week that by the end of 2017, more than 3.2 million Iraqis had returned home, but 2.6 million remained displaced. Alaq added that “heavy damage had also affected oil, electricity, transport, communications, and manufacturing infrastructure as well as basic services such as water and sanitation”.
Khaled al-Jarallah, Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister, stated that “Despite past wounds (referring to 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait), his country had a moral, humanitarian, and Arab duty to support its neighbor. The stability of Iraq is the stability of Kuwait and the region.”
Baghdad has argued that the world “owes” it a programme similar to the United States’ multi-billion dollar post-war Marshall Plan for Europe.