Baghdad puts out the welcome rug for banks

Iraq, under economic sanctions for 11 years and faced with the threat of attack by the US, is trying to attract foreign banks to the country. That's the message Issam Racheed Hwaish, governor of the Iraqi Central Bank, laid out at the weekend as he hosted the country's second international banking conference.

About 50 bankers from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt attended the conference.

"Iraq is a socialist country and the state controls the economy," Dr Hwaish, wearing military fatigues and a