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Wolfowitz Says World Bank Has Role In Rebuilding Iraq

file photo of Paul Wolfowitz
by Staff Writers
Makassar, Indonesia (AFP) Apr 10, 2006
The World Bank has a role to play in helping Iraq rebuild, its chief Paul Wolfowitz told AFP in an interview Saturday. "The Iraqi people deserve a peaceful, stable country and the World Bank has a contribution to make clearly on the development side," he said.

The contribution could be in the form of shared advice and expertise as much as in financial assistance, he said, speaking during a visit to Indonesia.

"They are trying to get ministries that were fundamentally corrupted... and are trying to rebuild those things almost from scratch and they need a lot of advice and support from us," he said.

Asked about the possibility of the World Bank reopening an office in the Iraqi capital, Wolfowitz said no decision had yet been taken.

The World Bank closed its Baghdad office in 2004 after a member of staff was killed during an attack on a UN building there. The bank has worked out of Amman in neighbouring Jordan ever since.

Wolfowitz, who as deputy US defence secretary under President George W. Bush's first administration was one of the architects of the US-led invasion of Iraq, said he remained optimistic for the country, despite ongoing violence.

"I think in the long run yes, if you look at these millions of Iraqis that turned out for the elections clearly expressing a desire for a new Iraq, it seems to me that with that overwhelming popular desire ultimately they will come out ok."

Wolfowitz, who was US ambassador to Indonesia from 1986 to 1989, arrived in the country on Wednesday to review progress made in rebuilding after the December 2004 tsunami.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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