Brown pledges £100m aid on Iraq visit

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown today arrived in Iraq to visit troops and announce at least £100 million in new aid for reconstruction.















Mr Brown's day-long visit to the southern city of Basra is his first trip to the country.



He will meet Iraqi deputy prime minister Barham Salih, as well as having high-level briefings from senior British officers.



The new money announced today will be used for reconstruction aid over the coming three years, said a Treasury spokesman travelling with the Chancellor.



The UK has already committed £544 million by the end of this year as part of a donors' agreement sealed in 2002.



Britain is the first of the donors to draw down all of the money pledged at that stage, and is consequently making a further commitment, said the spokesman.



Mr Brown was accompanied on his trip to Iraq by the Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the armed forces' senior officer.



He said in a statement: "I am here to see and pay tribute to the important work our forces are doing and to meet Iraqi ministers to discuss the challenges ahead.



"We are committed to supporting the Iraqis in building a democratic nation which brings security and prosperity to its people and plays a full part in the region and the world economy."

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