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    Destroy, Then Finance? UK Business in Iraq to Get Fresh Millions in Funding

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    In the first visit to Iraq by a UK Cabinet minister for more than a year, Liam Fox announced a boost in investment totaling in £2 billion - 16 years after UK joined the US-led invasion of the Middle Eastern nation.

    An additional billion will be released by London to fund support for British firms operating in Iraq, supporting UK exports to the country, Fox said.

    "British government, working closely with the UK private sector and our Iraqi partners, have a key role to play in the country's long-term prosperity. The £1 billion we have announced today will significantly strengthen our ability to do just that," Fox said.

    Siemens UK has been the recipient of funding by UK Export Finance (UKEF), having benefited from €30.2 million (£26 million) in a contract to refurbish the 320-megawatt Al Mussaib power station in southern Iraq.

    "Siemens has already benefited from UKEF support for work on the refurbishment of the Al Mussaib power plant. This will be vital for the people of Iraq who will benefit from both the power and the jobs it will create. With work being delivered from our Newcastle business, it is also helping to secure jobs in the UK," Steve Scrimshaw, Country Lead, Gas and Power UK and Ireland, Siemens UK, said.

    Wastewater infrastructure (US$35 million (£26 million)) and power and gas station refurbishment (£965 million combined) and construction are among other recipients of UK foreign aid operating in Iraq.

    Following the 2003 invasion by the United States and its allies, Iraq has been suffering the consequences of economic and security downfalls, ever since the massive bombing and a ground invasion. 2018 marked 15 years since the UK PM Tony Blair committed Britain to war in Iraq without consulting his State Secretaries and the government Cabinet.

    Former US President George W. Bush smiles alongside former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
    © AFP 2019 / Saul LOEB
    Former US President George W. Bush smiles alongside former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    The Chilcot Inquiry into Britain's role in the 2003 Iraq War revealed that poor planning and absence of proper Cabinet discussion led to "many failures of British policy in Iraq and the deaths that resulted."

    READ MORE: New Safeguards to Stop 'Reckless' UK Prime Ministers From Repeating Iraq Failure

    Liam Fox's visit to Iraq finished on 16 April after three days of meeting with the country leadership, including Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mehdi.


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    foreign aid, funding, investment, Iraq, United Kingdom
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