Sweden to hold U.N. conference on Iraq

April 3, 2008 at 8:47 PM
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BUCHAREST, Romania, April 3 (UPI) -- Sweden plans to play host to a U.N. conference on the redevelopment of Iraq, the prime minister announced Thursday.

Fredrik Reinfeldt discussed the conference with reporters after a meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Bucharest, the Swedish news agency TT reported. Reinfeldt said the goal of the conference is "to put a better process in place."

"This is a way to show that the (United Nations) can have a stronger role in facing the challenges associated with improving development on the ground in Iraq, and for that reason I've indicated that it would mean a great deal to us that Ban Ki-Moon himself come, and he has also demonstrated a will to visit us bilaterally and speak with us in Sweden," Reinfeldt said.

He said the focus will be on civilian efforts to rebuild Iraq.

Sweden did not join the coalition in Iraq. But the country has contributed millions of dollars for reconstruction and has admitted thousands of Iraqi refugees.

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