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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kadyrov Seeks Foreign Investors

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov put on a folk concert for representatives of 30 Muslim countries and asked them to invest in a power station, a clinic and a brick factory.

Kadyrov played host this week to members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Arab League in an unprecedented bid to win 30 billion rubles ($1.16 billion) in investment from the Muslim world.

As the delegates left for Moscow late Wednesday, Kadyrov said the visit had "exceeded all expectations," Interfax reported.

Iran's ambassador to Russia, Gholamreza Ansari, said Tehran was ready to invest into Chechnya.

"The most important is that we should help each other, and Iran for its part is ready to extend a helping hand," Ansari said at a local university Wednesday, according to statement from the Kadyrov administration.

The Iranian Embassy in Moscow declined to comment.

The talks Tuesday and Wednesday focused on ways to increase economic, political and cultural cooperation, and included a dinner and a Chechen folk music concert at Kadyrov's residence outside Gudermes.

The delegates included ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Sudan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, as well as Russia-based representatives of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League.

On Wednesday, the Chechen government presented the delegates with a series of investment projects, including the construction of a hydroelectric station on the Argun River, a large clinic and the brick factory. Interfax valued the projects at 30 billion rubles. In an indication that cooperation in the energy sector might also be on the agenda, the heads of the local oil and gas companies, Grozneftegaz and Chechengaz, helped authorities arrange the high-profile visit.

The visitors promised to share the proposals with their governments and get back with an answer shortly, the Kadyrov administration said.

The Russian government has been trying to find investors to help revive the region, and last year then-Chechen President Alu Alkhanov announced China would become the first foreign investor by building a fish farm.

Despite Kremlin assurances of a return to normalcy after years of two exhaustive wars, investors are not rushing to rebuild the republic.

Kadyrov was keen that the delegates saw for themselves that the situation was improving in the republic, said a spokeswoman for the Kadyrov administration, Zarema Aslakhanova.

Some ambassadors lavished Chechnya with praise. "We traveled across towns and villages and went into people's homes, and I am comforted to note that we haven't seen worry on their faces," Baker Abdel Munem, the Palestinian ambassador to Russia, said in a Kadyrov administration statement.

The Arab League's ambassador to Moscow, Jumaa Ibrahim al-Farjani, said Chechnya was being reconstructed at an unprecedented pace. "You wouldn't see such a pace even in the richest of the Arab nations," he said.

The delegates also met with local lawmakers and clergy Wednesday and read a prayer over the tomb of Kadyrov's father, Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in 2004 and is buried in the village of Tsentoroi.