USA welcomes Saudi Arabia's pledge of $100 million for Syria

People buy fruits and vegetables at a market in Syria's Raqa which suffered extensive damage from the US-led coalition campaign to oust the Islamic State group

USA welcomes Saudi Arabia's pledge of $100 million for Syria

The Saudi contribution is the biggest single cash injection yet for reconstruction efforts in areas formerly controlled by the extremist group, which seized large areas of Iraq and Syria in 2014, including the Syrian city of Raqqa, its former de facto capital.

In the past, USA officials have repeatedly said their priority in Syria is the enduring defeat of the IS terror group, which according to the coalition has lost control over all but a few areas it previously held.

Earlier this year, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he wanted to withdraw from the war-ravaged country.

"We are remaining in Syria".

The statement pointed out that a number of coalition partners have made pledges and contributions in recent months and the USA appreciates all partners who supported this important effort, indicating that Saudi Arabia has been a leading partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS from the very beginning.

There will be no global reconstruction funding for Syria until a "credible and irreversible" political process led by the United Nations is underway, a U.S. State Department official said Friday as the United States announced plans to redirect $230 million USA in frozen funding away from the civil war-torn country.

"Since the start of this campaign against ISIS, our military campaign has been planned in close coordination with humanitarian and stabilization plans to follow on the military operations", McGurk said, using an acronym for the militant group.

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"We are remaining in Syria", McGurk said Friday, when asked about the perception that the U.S.is pulling away.

In a bid to reassure its partners in the coalition against IS as well as opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Pompeo appointed veteran diplomatic troubleshooter, James Jeffrey, to be a special envoy for Syria, Nauert said.

President Trump is saving US taxpayers another $230 million dollars a year by pulling funding for ongoing programs in Syria.

Acting U.S. assistant secretary of state David Satterfield said there would be no global funding for Syria's reconstruction until there was a "credible and irreversible" political process underway to end the Syrian conflict, which has been going on since March 2011.

Both the Russian and Syrian governments want worldwide funding to rebuild Syria, he said.

State Department Press Secretary Heather Nauert earlier said that pulling the funding "does not represent any lessening of USA commitment to our strategic goals in Syria". The U.S. says reconstruction assistance for Syria requires an global agreement involving the United Nations.

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