Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Prime Minister al-Maliki calls on US businesses to invest in Iraq

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called on US businesses to invest in the country to help it recover from the war. The message comes as US troops prepare to withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year.

Speaking during a visit to Washington, al-Maliki said that the country's security situation has improved; and that Iraq was now being led by a civil as oppose to a military government. At present, the US is the leading foreign investor in the country.

Al-Maliki is on an official visit to Washington with 40 Iraqi delegates in a bid to sign trade co-operation agreements. Speaking to the US Chamber of Commerce, he said that Iraq was keep to sign oil co-operation deals and also others in healthcare, telecommunications, construction and financial services. He added that business possibilities for US companies were “limitless” and that they were best suited to help boost the country's economy.

He said: "It is not now the generals but the businessmen and the corporations that are at the forefront…All sectors of the economy are there, open for business for American business."

US President Barack Obama met al-Maliki on Monday 13th December. Speaking after the meeting he said he believed the Iraqi economy would grow at an even faster rate than India or China.

He also confirmed that all US troops would withdraw from Iraq at the end of the year, but added that the two countries would maintain a close relationahip.

He said: "We've got an enormous investment of blood and treasure in Iraq…And we want to make sure that even as we bring the last troops out, that it's well understood, both in Iraq and here in the United States, that our commitment to Iraq's success is going to be enduring."

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, WSJ

For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.

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