Tehran to Play Active Role in Iraq's Rebuilding

Tehran to Play Active Role in Iraq's RebuildingTehran to Play Active Role in Iraq's Rebuilding

Iran's ambassador to Kuwait said Tehran would have an "active role" in rebuilding Iraq just as it aided the country in fighting the terrorists who wreaked havoc on it.

"The Islamic Republic, as a neighbor and friend of Iraq, has always played an active and effective role in fighting terrorist groups and would like to see this role continuing in the form of reconstruction of Iraq," ISNA quoted Alireza Enayati as saying on Tuesday.

The ambassador noted that a stable Iraq would be more influential in "regional equations".

Kuwait on Monday opened a week of conferences aimed at enlisting aid to rebuild Iraq after the defeat of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

Authorities estimate Iraq needs $88.2 billion to restore a country smashed after the extremists seized the country's second-largest city of Mosul and a mass of territory in June 2014. Enayati said Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would also take part in the ministerial meeting of the conference scheduled for Wednesday.

More than 70 countries would attend the Wednesday meeting.

  Talks With Kuwait 

The envoy added that Zarif is slated to hold talks with several counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting, including Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah.

"Zarif and Khalid Al Sabah would hold talks aimed at expanding bilateral ties in economic and political areas," Enayati said.

"The two sides would also discuss regional issues," he said without elaborating. Relations between Iran and Kuwait soured last year after the latter accused Tehran of being linked to a "spy and terror" cell and ordered the Iranian Embassy in Kuwait to downsize its activity and members in the Arab sheikhdom.

Iran has denied the allegations, believing the tiny Arab state has been forced to take an anti-Iran line by Saudi Arabia and its allies after its relations with Tehran were deemed to become closer due to the two sides being on the same page in a Riyadh-imposed Persian Gulf crisis regarding Qatar. Kuwait has also been trying to mediate in the crisis after Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed sanctions on Qatar in June last year, accusing it of supporting terrorism and having links to Tehran. Doha denies the charges.

Enayati said Kuwait's current UN Security Council non-permanent membership means the bilateral relations needs to be further improved.

"We are hoping that Iran-Kuwait relations see a new phase upon Mr. Zarif's trip to the country," he concluded.

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