US, Iraqi officials discuss Iraq reconstruction conf.

US Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan said Thursday he spoke with Iraqi officials regarding the investment opportunities that would be presented at Kuwait international conference on reconstruction of Iraq.

The upcoming conference “would provide an important opportunity for the government of Iraq to showcase a number of attractive investment opportunities for foreign investors, including many American companies, and to demonstrate that Iraq is open for business,” Sullivan, who returned from a visit to Iraq, told reporters.

During the meeting, the also sides agreed to collaborate further in the areas of trade, finance, political, and diplomatic cooperation.

The US senior official also took note of Iraq’s recent defeat of the so-called Islamic State or IS) caliphate and highlighted “further coordination on this effort at the ministerial level of the Global Coalition to Defeat IS that will take place in Kuwait on February 13.” With regard to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Sullivan indicated that he told Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi to continue to work with Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzan to reach “practical accommodation on matters such as” salaries and reopening Kurdish airports.

From Iraq, Sullivan also travel to Afghanistan to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani, and other government leaders.

“During each of these meetings, Afghanistan’s leadership made it clear to me that despite the recent tragic events, the Afghan government will continue to work to create the necessary conditions to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, and establish an environment for a sustained piece,” said Sullivan.

Yet, he argued “everyone but the Taliban appears ready for peace.” The leaders then discussed security cooperation, the importance of timely elections, economic development, peace, and reconciliation.

“I applaud the efforts of the Afghan government thus far, and welcome those officials in continuing to make further progress,” Sullivan concluded.

Source: Kuwait News Agency