Iraqi PM Urges US Firms to Help Rebuild Country

Posted December 13th, 2011 at 3:35 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has extended an open invitation to U.S. companies to help rebuild his country.

Mr. Maliki told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that it was not the “generals” who were playing a leading role in Baghdad's future, but instead corporations and business leaders.

He also said Iraqi officials were “not satisfied” with the number of U.S. firms in the country and wanted more.

He commented a day after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama to outline a broad agenda for post-war cooperation. The two leaders pledged to ensure Iraq's political stability and strengthen its national security.

Mr. Obama said Iraq can be “a model for others aspiring to build democracy,” and that this justified the U.S. “blood and treasure” expended there.

Mr. Maliki thanked the U.S. for its “commitments.” He said cooperation is still needed, especially in counter-terrorism, training security forces and equipping the Iraqi army.

The two leaders also discussed how the U.S. and Iraq will cooperate without the presence of U.S. forces, which are in the final phase of a December 31 withdrawal.

On Wednesday, Mr. Maliki is expected to accompany Mr. Obama to North Carolina, where the U.S. president to will thank troops returning home from Iraq.