World leaders at a UN-backed conference in Stockholm have approved a declaration praising Iraq's progress toward improving security and combating violence and terrorism.
But the one-day conference ended Thursday without any commitment from Iraq's biggest creditors on providing debt relief. Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, told delegates that Iraq needs the international community's support in reconstruction efforts after years of war. He urged world leaders to cancel his country's debt, which he says is hampering development. Iraq has at least 67-billion dollars in foreign debt, most dating to the rule of Saddam Hussein.
More than half of that debt is owed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait sent only junior representatives to the conference. Neither country has made a firm promise to cancel Iraq's debt.