Iraq leader in Japan for talks on peace, reconstruction

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, left, talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the opening ceremony of the expert level of the international conference on Iraqi economic development in Tokyo, Thursday, April 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, second left, poses with Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, left, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second right, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, right, and conference members at the opening ceremony of the expert level of the international conference on Iraqi economic development in Tokyo, Thursday, April 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the expert level of the international conference on Iraqi economic development in Tokyo, Thursday, April 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, left, delivers a speech with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the opening ceremony of the expert level of the international conference on Iraqi economic development in Tokyo, Thursday, April 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, center left, poses with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center right and conference members at the opening ceremony of the expert level of the international conference on Iraqi economic development in Tokyo, Thursday, April 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi sought international support in Japan on Thursday to restore peace and prosperity in his country, torn by extremism.

Al-Abadi co-hosted a meeting in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss ways to improve public safety in Iraq while promoting the country's sustainable economic development.

Abe announced a 35 billion yen ($330 million) loan for irrigation projects in Iraq during talks with al-Abadi later Thursday and pledged Japan's continuing support. The loan is part of Japan's $6 billion pledge to stabilize the Middle East, the source of 80 percent of its oil imports.

The conference was aimed at helping Iraq reconstruct by establishing a system to eliminate weapons held by many civilians. The goal is to create jobs, provide vocational training and motivate people to return to their ordinary lives, Japanese officials said.

The Iraqi government in December announced the end of its operations against the militants. But automatic rifles and other weapons are widespread in Iraq and have been used by Islamic extremists in recent years, officials said.

"We have fought the fight against terrorism with strong determination. Now we shift toward making the country safer and we are moving to an excellent level of development," al-Abadi told a joint news conference.

Iraqi officials cited unemployment among youth and other vulnerable groups as a potential source of violent extremism, and said organizing vocational training appropriate for the labor market is a challenge.

Japan hopes to contribute its expertise from a U.N.-led disarmament and demobilization project in Afghanistan that ended in 2006.

Officials from 30 countries and international organizations attended the conference.

"In order to improve public safety, development is essential and vice versa," Abe told the conference. "I propose international support for the Iraqi government's effort through a new approach that integrates security and development."

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Find her work at https://www.apnews.com/search/mari%20yamaguchi

People also read these

China launches its 1st unmanned cargo spacecraft

Apr 20, 2017

China has launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country's...

Zhang Yimou says 'Great Wall' story may have been...

May 10, 2017

Zhang Yimou says the disappointing U.S. performance of the biggest budget China-U.S. co-production...

China's Xi says willing to help end rift with...

May 19, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he's willing to help ties with South Korea return to a...

Wasted green power tests China's energy leadership

Jun 5, 2017

China's scramble to curb pollution has made it the world leader in renewable energy development,...

Liu Xiaobo supporters mark his death amid...

Jul 19, 2017

Supporters of Liu Xiaobo are gathering worldwide to mark the traditional Chinese observance of the...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!