Saudi Arabia withholds pledged economic assistance for Iraq
The Saudi government has decided to hold back the one billion dollars in assistance it promised to Iraq until the security situation improves and a sovereign government takes office in the Arab state, reported Saudi and US officials.
According to a Saudi spokesperson, the money “can't go anywhere until there can be actual movement toward development,” in the military and political spheres in Iraq, reported LA Times.
The increase of violence in Iraq has made Arab governments wary of participating in the reconstruction effort. For many in the Arab world, the US-led authority's presence in the the country is enough to discourage cooperation. As a result, many Arab leaders have expressed their belief that rapid progress should be made towards the re-establishment of a sovereign government in Iraq.
Donors pledged some $33 billion for the reconstruction of the country at a two-day international conference in Madrid in October. Saudi Arabia’s contribution was one of the largest donations announced at the meeting. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)