EXCLUSIVE: How Egypt will aid in rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure



Thu, 11 Jan 2018 - 01:17 GMT


Thu, 11 Jan 2018 - 01:17 GMT

Soldiers take pictures as flame and smoke are seen following air bombardments during the Northern Thunder exercises, in Hafr Al-Batin, near Saudi Arabia’s border with Iraq, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Abedullah al-Desori

Soldiers take pictures as flame and smoke are seen following air bombardments during the Northern Thunder exercises, in Hafr Al-Batin, near Saudi Arabia’s border with Iraq, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Abedullah al-Desori

CAIRO – 11 January 2018: “Egypt has devised a plan that will allow it to be present in Iraq at all times during the coming phase,” a high level security official who asked to remain anonymous stated exclusively to Egypt Today. His statement came following Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s announcement on Wednesday that a delegation of infrastructure experts visited Iraq to assess their needs in coordination with the Iraqi government.

“Our presence in Iraq will come through the establishment of several companies there. Iraq has contacted Egypt several times on the matter of establishing companies there that are to be divided over several phrases,” the source elaborated.

According to the high level security source, the Egyptian state's plan to take part in the Iraqi state's infrastructure also comes as a mechanism to face Iranian incursion and to counter their attempts to expand in Iraq and control its resources and wealth.

“Iran is willing to enter Iraq through Iranian contracting and tourism companies, as well as, increase its citizens there. The goal is to control and exist within an Arab country like Iraq that will be a window for Iran to gather more information about other Arab countries to facilitate it’s invasion of them, especially Syria,” the source explained.

Phase I:

The first phase involves Egypt's reconstruction of Iraq with the participation of 15 Egyptian contracting and infrastructure companies, in addition to other Egyptian governmental companies as well. These companies are going to begin by rebuilding the infrastructure and hospitals and schools, as well as, rehabilitating Iraqi government buildings that suffered damages in the past period.

The source stressed that the goal is to build a new infrastructure, build housing units for citizens, reconstruct cities and have integrated services, pointing out that Egyptian engineers and Egyptian offices are currently working on the final conception of the redrawing of cities in Iraq, and the construction of the new infrastructure. This is in addition to dividing the Iraqi cities and governorates and dividing their borders. This will be in accordance with joint coordination between Egyptian and Iraqi companies and the Iraqi authorities.

The source revealed that there will be an Arab alliance of Arab Companies headed by Egyptian and Emirati companies to work on the reconstruction of Iraq and the construction of special projects. There will be a private pool of companies and jobs will be provided to Iraqis as well as different nationalities, he said, adding that meetings are being carried out to rebuild governorates affected by terrorist organizations in Iraq.

Projects will include the establishment of 25 schools and 12 new Iraqi hospitals, as well as, the establishment of important ministries inside Iraq and their rehabilitation again. Each ministry and Iraqi government authority will have a full system of insurance. The source indicated that Egypt is working on participating in the reconstruction of Iraq for the stability of the Arab region, and preventing the return of terrorist groups back into it, specifically the Islamic State (IS).

Phase II:

Egyptian oil companies conclude investment contracts with Iraqi oil exploration companies in Iraq, noting that there will be a joint agreement in the field of prospecting for and extraction of oil, as well as, joint cooperation between the two countries in buying and importing gas and refining part of Iraqi oil in Egyptian laboratories.

Egypt is working to expand oil and gas agreements with the state of Iraq over the coming years, besides establishing government companies inside Iraq permanently. Egypt will have headquarters in Iraq with the aim of having Egyptian engineers coordinate with the Iraqi side in detecting petroleum.

Phase III:

The source revealed for the first time that there will be military coordination between Egypt and Iraq with the goal of rehabilitating the Iraqi army again, and rearm it from more than one country and providing it with logistic equipment from the Arab Manufacturing Authority.

In addition, Egypt will supervise the establishment of the Iraqi security authorities, where Egypt will work to restore and establish the Iraqi security apparatus, and to be able to meet the challenges that exist in the region, and to combat terrorism. Egypt will be working on periodic joint training sessions with Iraqi security personnel at the Police Academy, in addition to establishing a strong Iraqi interior ministry to control the country and prevent the flow of terrorists back to Iraq during the coming period.

This is besides the rehabilitation of Iraqi military groups inside Egypt, and the rehabilitation of Iraqi military elements in the fight against terrorism in the latest modern means. Egypt with the addition to a number of different countries will provide Iraq with modern communication devices, and devices designed to combat terrorism. All Egyptian security agencies will be rehabilitated and there is a plan to exchange information between Egypt and Iraq on terrorist organizations to prevent their further incursion into Iraq.

Iraq will work in coordination with Egypt to establish a major Iraqi military college comprising all Iraqi people, with a view to further the return of the Iraqi army during the coming period. The Iraqi military Academy will be created over the course of a year and a half. There will be elements of the Egyptian elite and military commands from Egypt that will conduct a study for students and military elements in the context of the rehabilitation phase of the Iraqi army and police.

The source disclosed for the first time that investment contracts will be signed between Egypt and Iraq with the goal to have Egyptian companies work for a number of years in all fields, and Egypt will take over the job of qualifying the Iraqi labor market in the coming period.

For the first time, a security system will be put in place to secure the Iraqi borders to prevent the infiltration of terrorists into Iraq again, in addition that for the first time there will be an Iraqi security database that will be created during the coming period under Egyptian supervision.

The source revealed that Egypt is working on joint coordination with Iraq to prevent the axis of evil that is trying to divide Iraq. Egypt is addressing the blueprint for dividing Iraq, as well as, preventing sectarian strife by noting that there are Egyptian security forces that are constantly coordinating with Iraqi authorities to prevent the partition of Iraq.

The moves have come after Egypt obtained information that some were planning to ignite strife inside Iraq after the end of the war on terror with the aim of exhausting the Iraqi country. Egypt has worked to coordinate with the Iraqi side to contain all Iraqi parties in order to prevent any spread of any strife between Iraqi communities, whether religious or ethnic, and that there are already societal tensions and the goal is to fully reestablish Iraqi society again.

The source stressed that the goal is not only Iraq, but Egypt will participate in Syria's reconstruction bill as well since Egypt will aim to involve the largest amount of Egyptian government companies in projects inside Syrian territory after the end of the armed war there, providing many job opportunities there for Egyptians. The cost of projects in Syria has so far reached between $500 billion and $900 billion for the reconstruction of Syria, and Egypt aims to obtain 25 percent of these costs, over several phases. In the first phase, it is expected that Egypt will incorporate $30 billion of these costs into its gross domestic product (DP). In the course of two years, Egypt expects to amass between $100 billion to $125 billion.



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