The Iraqi Finance minister Kamel al-Keylani said his country wants German companies' investment even though the United States has barred them from bidding for reconstruction contracts, the business daily
Handelsblatt reported on Monday. "The Iraqis want the Germans to come," Kamel al-Keylani was quoted as saying. Germany has agreed to offer substantial debt relief to Iraq, even after Washington angered opponents of the Iraq war by saying it would bar them from bidding for lucrative reconstruction contracts. Washington has since said Canada can bid in a second round of contracts in Iraq and U.S. officials have said France, Germany and Russia may soon be permitted to do so as well. Meanwhile, a Siemens spokesman confirmed on Monday the engineering group was in talks with U.S. engineering and construction giant Bechtel as a subcontractor for a power generation project in Iraq.