Abadi calls for US support in rebuilding Iraq as victory over IS nears

Iraq’s Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, has written an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he has called on the US administration to support the reconstruction of the country.

In the piece published Friday, al-Abadi urged the international community to fulfill its funding pledges to “secure and stabilise our communities and prevent ISIS and al-Qaeda from reemerging.”

Referring to the Strategic Framework Agreement signed between Washington and Baghdad in 2008, al-Abadi said the US and military advisors from other anti-IS coalition countries had helped Iraqi forces win the fight against the jihadist group but that now was the time for assistance in restoring infrastructure.

“We need U.S. investment to rebuild our housing, hospitals, schools, sanitation facilities, roads, highways and bridges. We can also benefit from Americans’ technical expertise as we improve and expand our telecommunications, information technology and health-care sectors. Iraq needs U.S. financiers and corporate partners to help us develop agriculture, petrochemicals and other industries.”

The prime minister also emphasised Iraq’s ethnic and religious diversity and said a pluralist Iraq needed to built based on peace and mutual respect.

He also touched upon the balance of influence within Iraq, which neighbours Iran and Turkey, writing, “In a region whose sectarian divisions our own society strives to resist, Iraq must maintain friendly relations with all our neighbors, while preserving our sovereignty and ensuring that no neighbor exercises outsize influence within our country.”

Abadi’s call comes following a meeting with US President Donald Trump and ahead of an imminent victory over the IS group in Mosul.

Many different forces, including Kurdish parties in the country’s northern Kurdistan region, will have a say in the future model Iraq will take.

In a speech made at the anti-IS global coalition summit recently, Abadi championed decentralisation against secession. Kurdish parties have called for complete independence from Baghdad.