Iraqi President Barham Salih on Monday called on international community to support Iraq in rebuilding its infrastructure after the defeat of ISIS group, Xinhua reported.
Salih's comments came as he met in his office with Alexander De Croo, the Belgian deputy prime minister and minister of finance, as he asserted the need to boost cooperation in various fields between the two countries, according to a statement issued by the presidency's media office.
Salih stressed the necessity to assist the affected cities by the battles against ISIS, and the need to "pursue programs and development plans in cooperation with the United Nations to improve the status of these cities," the statement said.
For his part, De Croo "commended the victories achieved against the terrorist organization (ISIS), and emphasized his country's keenness to support Iraq in all areas," it said.
De Croo also "conveyed an official invitation to President Salih to visit Belgium and the European Union headquarters," the statement said, adding that Salih said that he "will meet the invitation in due course."
Meeting Abd al-Mahdi
De Croo also held a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi, who confirmed to the visiting guest that "the biggest challenge now is to encourage investment in Iraq and called on the international companies to work on the reconstruction of the provinces destroyed by [ISIS]," according to a statement issued by Abd al-Mahdi's office.
De Croo expressed his country's readiness to support Iraq, pointing out that "the purpose of the visit is to show the support of Belgium to Iraq and to identify the opportunities to contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq, and to strengthen humanitarian aid and assistance to liberated areas, including Mosul," the statement said.
Belgium is part of a U.S.-led international coalition tasked with helping the Iraqi security forces in the fight against ISIS militants by carrying out airstrikes against the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria and providing military equipment and training to Iraqi forces.
The joint visit of the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and the European Commissioner comes at an important moment, one year after the fall of ISIS in Iraq and shortly after the new government is in place. It reveals the importance that Belgium and the European Union attach to sustainable peace in Iraq.