Iraqi premier Maliki pitches reconstruction work to German firms

BERLIN - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is confident that German companies will decide ‘in the coming days’ to head back to his country, he said Wednesday after meeting some 120 business leaders here.

By (AFP)

Published: Wed 23 Jul 2008, 6:39 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:56 PM

"German companies have a right to hesitate ... but we think we can persuade them in the coming days that the security situation allows them to return," Maliki told a press conference on the second day of a visit to Germany.

The Iraqi premier said he had invited around 120 business leaders with whom he dined on Tuesday to "send representatives to study the situation.

"They said they were prepared to do so," he added.

"We are in control of the situation in the country and are ready to ensure extra protection" to foreign companies, he said.

Maliki is visiting Germany and Italy to try to convince investors that widespread conflict in Iraq has ended and that the country, which sits on substantial oil reserves, has entered a crucial phase of reconstruction.

He was received on Tuesday by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who appeared encouraged by the positive turn of events in Iraq.

"We are pleased that several German firms are already interested in taking part in the reconstruction of Iraq," Merkel told media during a joint press conference that followed their meeting.

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