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Iraq conference opens in Sweden

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Iraq conference opens in Sweden
10:51 CEST+02:00
An international conference on Iraq aimed at assessing progress made in the war-ravaged country opened in Stockholm Thursday, amid calls from Baghdad for more help to stabilize the situation.

"We stand ready to support the government of Iraq and all Iraqis in the quest for a sovereign and democratic united and prosperous country," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said as the one-day conference opened at 10:05 am on the outskirts of Stockholm.

Around 100 delegations were at the conference, which is being hosted by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and attended by among others US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

It is the first follow-up meeting since the International Compact with Iraq (ICI), a five-year peace and economic development plan, was adopted at a May 2007 international conference at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

At that meeting senior officials from more than 60 countries and organizations promised to cancel $30 billion of Iraqi debt.

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