UN stands by Iraq in fight against IS — Ban Ki-Moon

BAGHDAD, March 26 (KUNA) — The UN underscored on Saturday its unequivocal support of Iraq in its fight against terrorism while the World Bank offered USD 250 million to the Arab country to rehabilitate territories freed from the grip of the so-called Islamic State (IS).
This came out at a joint press conference which brought together UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim, and Islamic Development Bank head Ahmad Al-Madani along with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.
Ban Ki-Moon said he reviewed security, economic, humanitarian, and human rights issues in Iraq with Al-Abadi, stressing the imperative for national reconciliation and the implementation of comprehensive reforms in the Arab country.
The UN chief called on Iraq’s regional and international partners to extend succor to Iraq in its struggle against terrorism, with the proviso that the help or support should be given in concert with the Iraqi government and in total respect for the country’s sovereignty and territorial unity.
Furthermore, he noted that IS has wreaked havoc on minority groups in Iraq, killing, kidnapping, and raping many of them aside from destroying cherished antiquities.
He recited a list of IS-instigated horrors, namely that there are 3500 Yazidi women enslaved by IS, some 10 million Iraqis in need of humanitarian assistance, over 3 million more forced to immigrate in addition to 7500 Iraqis killed by IS in a period of one year.
Ban Ki-Moon urged the Iraqi government to broaden its efforts to regain the rule of law and spread security in all parts of the country in addition to striving for national reconciliation.
World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim indicated in the joint press conference that the World Bank has allocated USD 250 million to support Iraqi government’s efforts to rehabilitate areas of the country freed from the controlling clasp of IS.
He said the Bank supports Iraq in its plans for economic and political reforms which would lead to a stable and secure country.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said his government is briskly undertaking economic reforms, having last year constricted expenditure by about 40 percent, but at the same time he asked for more international support to bypass the economic difficulties and the security challenge buffeting his country. Ban Ki-Moon arrived in Baghdad earlier today on an official visit, coming from the Lebanese capital of Beirut. (end) ahh.ajs