UAE and Germany set up joint fund to rebuild after ISIL
DOHA // The UAE and Germany are leading new efforts to bring stability to areas of Iraq after ISIL has been driven out.
The two have set up a special fund administered by the UN and aimed at restoring basic infrastructure, services and governance to parts of the country recaptured from the militants.
Their role in the fund was praised yesterday by Gen John Allen, special US presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.
Despite recent setbacks, the anti-ISIL coalition is prepared for a long fight and has created “lines of activity” to battle the militants, Gen Allen said.
The new fund is highly significant, a senior US state department official said. “How do you push resources into those areas cleared of ISIL? How do you take care of people? How do you bring services back?
“This has been a real problem because the Iraqis are not able to access capital markets. They remain fairly cash-poor and they’re not able to flood resources quickly to areas.”
The official said the fund, discussed by the coalition at Paris talks on Tuesday, was now formalised.
Gen Allen said that in Paris coalition partners, including the US, had given substantial sums to stabilisation efforts.
“The whole strategy in Iraq cannot be led by the West. It has to be an Arab initiative with Western support,” said Dr Jean-Marc Rickli, an assistant professor at King’s College London who works in Doha. “The West has lost any legitimacy in reconstructing Iraq.”
He added that the UAE leading efforts to help stabilise Iraq fits into the country’s current policy orientation of being “much more active in the Gulf and Arab world to counter radical Islam.”
The UAE is also involved in leading efforts to counter ISIL’s propaganda, Gen Allen said. He singled out a “joint centre” established in Abu Dhabi to coordinate defeating ISIL’s message “not just in the region, but helping us globally”.
He said there were discussions among coalition partners to establish more centres to counter ISIL propaganda, which had attracted tens of thousands of recruits from around the world.
Gen Allen was speaking at the 12th US-Islamic World Forum in Doha, an annual event sponsored by the Brookings Institution and Qatari foreign ministry.
Updated: June 3, 2015 04:00 AM