Germany to loan Iraq $566 million to aid reconstruction

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, left, attend a joint press conference at the chancellery in Berlin, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)
By Associated Press February 11
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany will give a 500 million-euro loan ($566 million) to Iraq to help rebuild the country’s infrastructure.

At a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday in Berlin, Merkel said Germany also wants to help with the demining of cities and towns in Iraq so the country’s 3 million internal refugees can return to their homes.

Merkel said it is Germany’s goal to give hope to the people in Iraq so “they don’t have to leave their country.”

Iraq is one of the main sources of refugees heading to Germany and the government is trying to reduce the number of asylum-seekers coming here.

Merkel also said Germany and Iraq want to battle people-traffickers who lure Iraqis to Germany under false pretenses.

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