Green light for British firms in Iraq

Washington is to give British firms the right to bid for multi-million dollar reconstruction contracts in Iraq as a reward for Prime Minister Tony Blair's loyalty over the war, a UK newspaper said on Saturday.

    Tony Blair's staunch support of the war is good for business

    US President George Bush is expected to signal the concession, which The Times described as a major shift in policy, when he comes to Britain on a state visit next week.

    British companies were excluded from the previous round of bidding for the lucrative contracts.

    "British firms are excellent firms and I'm sure they will be able to bid competitively," said a leading Bush administrator quoted by The Times.

    Spoils of war

    "I can't prejudge the process, but let's just say it's likely" that British firms will be bidding for the contracts, the source was quoted as saying.

    Washington is preparing to award at least 10 contracts worth as much as $15 billion to rebuild Iraq's oil, electricity, health water, and other infrastructure within the next three months.

    The first $2.2 billion of primary contracts were confined to US firms, with one of the early winners being Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton - where US Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO until 2000.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.

    Crisis of Aboriginal women in prison in Australia

    Crisis of Aboriginal women in prison in Australia

    Aboriginal women are the largest cohort of prisoners in Australia, despite making up only 2 percent of the population.