Turkey will extend around $5 billion in loans to Turkish businesspeople for the reconstruction of Iraq, Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sunday, the Hürriyet Daily News reported, citing the state-run Anadolu news agency.
“We have made a huge commitment for Iraq,” Çavuşoğlu said during a meeting organized by the Beyoğlu Municipality in İstanbul.
“We will offer $5 billion in loans,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that Turkish businesspeople will be able to utilize the loans for projects in Iraq.
The top diplomat added that he is set to visit the Iraqi capital of Baghdad as well as Erbil, the administrative capital of the Kurdish regional government.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will also visit Iraq after local elections in Turkey slated for March 31.
In 2017, Iraq was Turkey’s fourth largest export partner, according to the Foreign Ministry.
“Turkey’s bilateral trade volume with Iraq declined from 2014 to 2016 due to security problems in Iraq. In 2017, this trend was reversed, and the bilateral trade volume increased,” the ministry said, adding that Turkey expected trade to reach over $12 billion in the coming years.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) overran much of northern and western Iraq in the summer of 2014.
After a three-year war, the Iraqi government declared late in 2017 that ISIL’s military presence in Iraq had been all but ended through operations backed by a US-led international coalition.