Iraq has called for the international community to cancel its remaining debts as it struggles to rebuild itself. More than five years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis still face a daily battle for the basic necessities of life. The painfully slow reconstruction is the subject of an international conference in Sweden.
United Nations chief, Ban Ki Moon opened proceedings on an optimistic note saying: “Notable progress has been made in all three pillars of the Compact – in the security, political and economic fields, despite the challenges. For this, Prime Minister Al Maliki, his government and the people of Irak deserve our commendation.”
However, Baghdad used the occasion to call for foreign creditors to cancel almost 40 billion euros of debt.
The conference is reviewing both the security situation, and the implementation of the Iraq Compact, a five-year reconstruction plan drawn up in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt, 12 months ago.
Baghdad says it is not looking for more money from the international community, but rather technical support via the cancelling of debts and the reopening of embassies to get its economy back on its feet.