Friday, March 16, 2007

Israelis encouraged to invest in Iraq

A US defense official on Thursday encouraged Israelis to pump investments into the devastated Iraqi economy, according to an AP report in the Jerusalem Post.

Paul Brinkley, US deputy undersecretary of defense for business transformation, told a business conference in Dubai that Israelis and any other investors were welcome in a country crying out for investment.

"Israeli business people, any business people, we would encourage them to come," said Brinkley, speaking on the sidelines of a conference aimed at spurring investment into Iraq's northern Kurdish-ruled region. Brinkley leads the task force charged with reinvigorating Iraqi industry.

"If they find business opportunities, as I think they will, we encourage them to reach out and engage their Iraqi business partners," he said.

Israel is believed to maintain discreet ties to Kurdish groups, including those in Iraq, although Kurdish officials in the country deny such links.

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