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The World 'Owes' Iraq a Marshall Plan, Says FM

(AFP) -- Iraq told the international community on Thursday it was "owed" a Marshall Plan after defeating the Islamic State group and a jihadist army of soldiers from more than 100 different countries.

"We are calling for a Marshall Plan to help us with the reconstruction," Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said at a conference in Rome. "The world owes us that".

The multi-billion dollar Marshall Plan launched by the United States after World War II is widely credited for helping Europe achieve its current prosperity and stability.

"There were 124 different nationalities from all democracies in the world" fighting with IS, Jaafari said. "Iraq was confronting an army from all those countries".

"The state alone cannot reconstruct entire cities. This is a legitimate right of a country that is waging a world war".

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said earlier this month that the IS occupation of northern Iraq and the battle to defeat it has caused more than $100 billion worth of damage to the country.

Jaafari also reminded the international community of the "opportunities for investment" in Iraq, saying "countries can benefit because the economy is linked to security".

On Monday, Iraq invited foreign firms to apply for tenders to explore and develop eight oil and gas fields along its Iranian and Kuwaiti borders, along with an offshore bloc.


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