Iraqi PM vows to provide security for investment companies
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said
Thursday it is time to rebuild Iraq after concentrating on securing peace in
the country for several years.
"We managed to lessen violence in the country and are still working on it", Maliki said.
"What Iraq needs now is international companies to carry out reconstruction projects and improve the country's infrastructure," al-Maliki was quoted by the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency.
He added "we are not suffering from shortage of fund for electricity and water projects, yet international states banned its companies from entering Iraq due to insecurity and lack of financial guarantees".
"The government deposited funds into bank accounts of big international companies to make them feel more secure about working in service projects for the country," al-Maliki said at the provincial council in the southern city of Najaf.
The Iraqi PM said that Iraq's budget for improving infrastructure in Iraq reached 48 billion dollars this year.
Al-Maliki went to Najaf on Thursday to meet Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Al-Maliki said that al-Sistani expressed his support of the government measures taken to impose the rule of law.
Al-Maliki noted that al-Sistani stressed that only government forces would be carrying weapons to ensure security.
The Iraqi PM has recently launched two major offensives in Basra and Mosul to crack down on violence wracking the two provinces.
Al-Sistani, who lives in the holy city of Najaf, is a recluse who rarely makes public appearances. But he wields considerable political influence and has a spiritual authority over the country's Shiites.
Al-Sistani backs al-Maliki's Shiite United Iraqi Alliance but he also promotes national reconciliation and the integration of Iraq's Sunni Arab minority into the political process, dpa reported.