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Qatar, Saudi, UAE pledge $3bn for Iraq reconstruction

QATAR, SAUDI, UAE PLEDGE $3BN FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday collectively pledged $3 billion for the reconstruction of post-Daesh Iraq.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said his country would contribute $1 billion worth of loans and investments to help rebuild infrastructure that was damaged or destroyed during Iraq's three-year war with the terrorist group.

Speaking at a Kuwait-hosted conference of international donors, Al Thani affirmed his country's commitment to supporting Iraq reconstruction efforts.

"Qatar's reconstruction efforts will focus mainly on infrastructure projects," he said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, for his part, said his country would allocate $1.5 billion for reconstruction initiatives in Iraq.

Speaking before conference attendees, al-Jubeir said the recent establishment of a Saudi-Iraqi "coordination council" was part of ongoing efforts by both countries to enhance bilateral relations.

Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, who also spoke at the conference, said his country would contribute $500 million to planned reconstruction efforts.

Some 2,300 companies -- from 70 countries -- are taking part in the conference, which kicked off Monday.

After its three-year fight against Daesh, which overran much of the country in 2014, Iraq now hopes to secure $100 billion worth of investment to rebuild infrastructure damaged or destroyed during the conflict.

Iraq invaded oil-rich Kuwait in 1990 under former President Saddam Hussein before being forced to withdraw by a U.S.-led military coalition.

Hussein was later toppled following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

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