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France pledges 1B euros in aid to rebuild Iraq

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BAGHDAD (AP) — French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says France is committing 1 billion euros ($1.15 billion) to help Iraq rebuild after its war against the Islamic State group.

Le Drian, meeting with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad on Monday, said the aid would go to rebuilding Iraq’s most devastated areas.

Iraq’s Planning Ministry has estimated the cost of reconstruction at $88 billion. Iraq was able to raise $30 billion at a donor conference in Kuwait last year.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Alhakim thanked France for its assistance to Iraq’s minority Yezidi community. Islamic State militants enslaved and killed thousands of Yezidis during their brief reign in north Iraq earlier this decade.

France is a member of the international coalition that territorially defeated the group in Iraq and Syria.

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