USA commends Saudi pledge of $100 million to rebuild Syria's northeast

Saudi Arabia to invest $100 million in SDF-held northeastern Syria

Rubble and destroyed buildings in the city of Raqqa Syria

Despite the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, between 20,000 and 30,000 of its fighters remain in the two countries, according to a United Nations report released Monday.

Washington also welcomed Saudi Arabia's contribution of $100 million to Syria.

That left $193.4 million in limbo that would have had to have been returned to the Treasury Department on September 30 at the end of this budget year if it had remained unspent.

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday announced that the United States's decision to end the "ridiculous" development fund for Syria and urged the "rich countries" to pay instead.

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

Trump froze the $230 million in March, threatening to withdraw United States forces from Syria, subject to a review to reassess Washington's role in the brutal seven-year-old conflict.

Earlier on Friday, the US State Department said that the fund, which was targeted to support the stabilisation initiative in Syria, has been ordered to be redirected, which sparked the speculations of the fund being withdrawn from the country.

Later on the same day, Nauert said in a teleconference with the media that Pompeo has appointed Jim Jeffrey, U.S. former ambassador to Iraq, to be the Secretary's Representative for Syria Engagement, a new position Pompeo created to work on the Geneva Process.

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"The president has made clear that we are prepared to remain in Syria until the enduring defeat of ISIS, and we remain focused on ensuring the withdrawal of Iranian forces and their proxies", Nauert said, using a different acronym for the terrorist group.

As part of the move and to help oversee the transition, the administration is appointing veteran diplomat James Jeffrey as a special envoy to Syria.

The statement said that this important contribution is seen as critical in the efforts to achieve re-stabilization of these areas and it comes at an important time of the worldwide campaign as the regional control of Daesh (so-called IS) has declined to the last of 400 square miles, and some 150,000 displaced people have returned to the city of Raqqa, adding that the partners on the ground are restoring key services to the people of northeastern Syria. In May, the State Department announced that it had ended all funding for stabilization programs in Syria's northwest.

The US also said it remains committed to a political solution to the Syrian civil war, preferably a UN-led political process.

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Confirming Taiwan's involvement, MOFA spokesperson Andrew Lee (李憲章) said Taiwan in June pledged a donation of US$1 million for demining, which it hopes will lead to Syrian refugees being able to return and rebuild their hometowns as soon as possible.

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