Vastavam web: France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Iraq today to discuss the war-torn country’s reconstruction with Iraqi officials after Baghdad declared victory against the Islamic State jihadist group.”I have come to tell you of France’s support and to accompany you. We will always be there. We were there to participate in the coalition. We will also be there in the reconstruction phase,” Le Drian said.Baghdad is looking to drum up funds at a reconstruction conference in neighbouring Kuwait from Monday to Wednesday after announcing the defeat of IS nationwide at the end of last year.
“We hope French expertise will be used for the reconstruction,” Iraq’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari replied.Iraq is still reeling from the rise of IS and the punishing fightback it took to crush the jihadists, with swathes of its territory in ruins and millions of people displaced.Authorities in the resource-rich nation say there has been a heavy toll on oil, electricity and manufacturing infrastructure, as well as basic services such as water and sanitation.