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Iraq confab takes aim at weapons

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, shakes hands with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tokyo on Thursday.

The Yomiuri ShimbunNations attending an international conference on the reconstruction of Iraq agreed on Thursday to support the country by establishing a system for recalling weapons in the hands of militants and others.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi attended the meeting, which was held in Tokyo. Officials from international organizations and about 30 countries, including the United States and European and Middle Eastern nations, were also there.

They proposed to the Iraqi government creating a framework for offering vocational training to former militants who hand in their arms. The participating entities are now due to start full-scale work on establishing the system through a task force.

The Iraqi government declared victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group in December. However, many civilians and former militants are said to be still possessing weapons to protect themselves from extremists.

“Real victory can be achieved by never allowing violent extremism to rise, and by creating an affluent and safe country,” Abe said. “Japan will take the initiative in supporting Iraq’s reconstruction.”

Abe and Abadi held a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office after the conference. They agreed that Japan will provide about ¥35 billion in loans for waterworks in southern Iraq and other projects.Speech

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