Saudi Arabia to fund US$1bn sport city in Iraq
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Saudi Arabia to fund US$1bn sport city in Iraq

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The government of Saudi Arabia has pledged to fund the construction of a US$1bn "sports city" close to the Iraqi capital city Baghdad.

The announcement was made by the Saudi commerce and investment minister Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, following a visit by senior Saudi ministers to Baghdad last week.

No details of the facilities have been revealed as yet, but it is believed that the project will include a number of large-scale sports venues – including a football stadium and aquatics complex.

If the Baghdad Sports City project proves successful, it will be Iraq's second large-scale concentration of sports facilities, joining the Basra Sports City in the south of the country.

Iraq has been slowly rebuilding its sports infrastructure, following the devastating war in 2003 and the following insurgency and armed conflicts which ended in 2011.

The Saudi investment in Iraq is seen part of a geopolitical strategy which looks to strengthen the kingdom's influence in the region and boost economic and trade ties with its neighbouring countries.

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