US vice president begins visit to Middle East


– 1/20/2018 6:55:00 AM .19 Number of readings


Khandan –

US Vice President Mike Bens has left for the Middle East, where he will meet Egyptian, Jordanian and Israeli leaders, but will not meet with Palestinian officials angered by US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there.

The plane, which was accompanied by his wife Karen, took off Friday evening from Andrews Air Force Base in the Washington suburb, AFP reported.

Bens’s visit was not canceled despite the risk of “closing” federal administrations, which overshadow the administration if Congress does not reach a provisional budget resolution.

“The vice president’s meetings with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Israel are part of the national security of America,” Elissa Farah told AFP, adding that the trip was going “as expected.”

The visit was originally scheduled for late December, but was postponed due to the tension caused by controversial US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

This unilateral recognition, announced on December 6, has angered Palestinians who want East Jerusalem to be the capital of the state they aspire to.

On Tuesday, the United States decided to “freeze” half of the money allocated to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Pens is expected to arrive Saturday in Cairo, where he will meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi, and then move to Amman to meet with King Abdullah II.

The US vice president will travel to Israel on January 22-23, where he will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Iraq airspace is now open for international civil aviation


18 Jan 2018 – 11:59 am


Following the defeat of Daesh in Iraq, international commercial flights are once again flying over Iraq.
In 2015, when Iraq’s armed forces were battling Daesh, only 70 international flights a day used Iraqi airspace en-route to other destinations. Since the defeat of Daesh, more than 350  flights fly daily over Iraqi territories.
Commercial air links have been restored with neighbouring countries, and major regional carriers such as Saudi Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air have resumed flying to major Iraqi airports.
Another boost for commercial aviation in Iraq came on 08 December 2017 when the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2390 confirming that Iraq has met in full its obligations imposed on it in 1990 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in relation to the Oil-for-Food programme. Iraq’s exit from Chapter VII will allow the the national carrier Iraqi Airways to expand its route network and improve domestic and international connectivity.
10 million people travelled through Iraq’s airports in 2017. To support the anticipated increase in commercial air traffic and passenger numbers, the Iraqi government is embarking on an ambitious programme to modernise Iraq’s air traffic control systems through the introduction of new technologies and state-of-the-art radar. Air traffic controllers will also receive enhanced training.
Source:  Ministry of Transport

The White House: The closure of the government will not prevent a penny tour in the Middle East



US Vice President Mike Bens will travel to the Middle East for talks with Egyptian, Israeli and Jordanian leaders even if the US government closes at midnight on Friday, because the tour is essential to US national security, the White House said.

“The vice president’s meetings … are an integral part of national security and the diplomatic goals of America, so the Vice President will travel to the Middle East as planned,” said Bens Alissa Farah, a spokeswoman for Bens.


Report: Trump envoy carried a message to Kurdish leaders on Ebadi that effect

Report: Trump envoy carried a message to the Kurdish leaders on Ebadi that
 36 minutes ago

(Reuters) – US President Donald Trump’s envoy, Brett McGamp, has recently visited the Kurdistan region to carry a message from his country’s administration asking Kurdish leaders to support Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi for a second term of office, the BIA satellite channel said on Friday. The next federal government.

The channel quoted the opposition government of Kurdistan today in a report on its sources, that “McGurk carried a message to Kurdish leaders of the US administration that the need to support Abadi again to fill the post of prime minister of the federal government.”

According to the channel sources in the report, “there is a trend began to prevail within the two main parties in Kurdistan to support the Vice President of the President of the coalition of state law Nuri al-Maliki to govern Iraq in the event of winning the upcoming elections.”

On Wednesday evening, MacGorek met with Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, his deputy Kibad Talabani, the General Coordinator of the Movement for Change Omar Sid Ali and the head of the Justice and Democratic Alliance Barham Salih.

During his meeting with Barzani, Trump expressed his country’s satisfaction at reducing the tension and the positive meetings and meetings between Erbil and Baghdad and hoped to continue meetings in order to reach acceptable results, especially on the issue of airports, salaries and other needs of the region.

Sunni parties and political forces in Iraq are seeking to postpone the elections scheduled for next May, but only the ruling Shi’ite Alliance is publicly opposed to the postponement and demands that it be held on time.

The Iraqi parliament failed in its meeting on Thursday to determine the date of elections after the withdrawal of several blocks.

Washington has strongly supported the Iraqi elections in May 2018, warning that postponing them would set a dangerous precedent, undermine the constitution and harm the long-term democratic development of Iraq.


World Bank: Social Protection Program in Iraq a Success Story

Release date: 2018/1/19 15:06 • 7 times read
[Oan- follow – up]
World Bank praised reforms of social protection in Iraq despite the ongoing years since the conflict “, describing them as” a success story “.
“Despite the challenges it faces, Iraq has been able to implement a comprehensive program to reform the social protection system, which has helped to promote social stability and strengthen resilience at the community level,” said a report from the Bank, which was read by All Iraq.
“Iraq has expanded the implementation of social protection activities in order to implement efficiently targeted programs that support livelihoods in fragile societies,” he said. “Mechanisms for the effective engagement of citizens are critical to the implementation of community development programs to promote social cohesion and promote Trust between the citizen and the state. ”
“In times of conflict or after the fighting, it becomes increasingly important to respond to the urgent and emerging needs of the people who have suffered from conflict to build resilience and support the recovery efforts of disadvantaged families. These efforts also play an important role, Building confidence between citizens and the state. ”
“Iraq provides a good example of how to do this. Despite the challenging environment, including the recent military campaign to recover large tracts of land seized by [Da’ash], Iraq has managed in the last few years to implement a comprehensive program To reform social protection, which contributed to social stability “.
“This Iraqi program included the preparation of the strategic road map for social protection in Iraq, the poverty reduction strategy and a program of rapid interventions in the newly liberated areas in order to mitigate the impact of the conflict on the current population and returnees.”
The World Bank was “a strategic partner and prime minister of the Iraqi government in its efforts in this regard.”
A senior Iraqi delegation visited the World Bank headquarters to discuss the Iraq experience.
The highlight of the visit was a meeting held on 2 November under the leadership of the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mohammed Shi’a al-Sudani [via videoconference from the World Bank office in Baghdad] and World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Hafez Ghanem.
The Minister of Labor reviewed the important reforms introduced at the level of social protection in Iraq and presented a vision of the support that Iraq still needs from the World Bank to achieve its vision of a comprehensive system of social protection including social safety nets, social security and labor market policies, all of which will help build capacity To withstand and mitigate the impact of future shocks.
On the sidelines of the meeting, al-Sudani praised the bank’s support “as a key tool in achieving much-needed reforms.”
“We are preparing several projects to expand our activities and implement efficient targeting programs to support livelihoods in fragile communities,” he said.
The Sudanese minister said that in addition to social protection programs, the government was working on ways to promote job creation, and Iraq is planning to “promote the program of activating work as a way out of poverty for all Iraqis.”
Hafiz Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, reiterated the World Bank’s commitment to supporting the Iraqi government to provide a direct response to the emerging needs of the newly liberated areas, stressing the importance of these efforts in “promoting social cohesion”.
Ghanem said the bank believes that programs for the development of war-torn or conflict-torn countries must be “community-based” and include “robust mechanisms to engage citizens”.
These mechanisms provide “a platform to address the root causes of violence and promote long-term trust between citizens and the state.”
Iraq embarked on its social reforms by adopting a new Social Protection Act in April 2014. The Act aims to increase the efficiency of the various assistance programs by changing the eligibility criteria for cash assistance from the system of class targeting to a poverty-based targeting system using the Alternative Income Test Increase coverage and reduce inclusion and exclusion errors.
Where household income or wealth data are not available, this methodology uses other indicators, such as family size, living conditions and ownership of durable goods, to determine eligibility for assistance.
The law established a social protection committee to oversee the implementation of reforms.
In November of the same year, the Government of Iraq adopted the Roadmap for the Social Protection Strategy 2015-2019.
The strategy includes the expansion of social programs, and has included a large-scale outreach campaign to prepare the population for these changes.
In 2015, about 1,250 social workers were contracted and underwent case management training courses. Visits to 900,000 families have been conducted to verify eligibility.
Data verification and scrutiny led to the exclusion of 140 undeveloped families, but the number of beneficiary households increased from 850,000 in 2016 to 100,000 in 2017 and 55 per cent of households were headed by women.
The amount of monthly cash assistance received by needy families rose from $ 70 to $ 150 on average.
The overall budget for social assistance in Iraq increased from 1.3 trillion Iraqi dinars to 1.9 trillion Iraqi dinars, and a social welfare database was put in place, with 1.5 million households registered.
A number of other initiatives included reform of the social protection sector, including an integrated social security law that integrates public and private pension pensions to stimulate cross-sectoral transition, and includes standard reforms to financial sustainability.
As well as a pilot conditional cash transfer program launched in Baghdad, which provides incentives for households to invest in human capital [maternal and child health care, enrollment and school attendance]. ”
In addition to providing cash assistance and services through social workers to provide urgent assistance to newly liberated areas and returnees from Internally displaced persons and mechanisms to address grievances in order to allow people to file complaints when they face abusive services or abuses.
Moving forward, the work of the World Bank will address issues that intersect with social protection reform, such as poverty, gender and vulnerability, and will focus on strengthening the capacity of government institutions to implement reforms.

Parliamentary Finance: The Central Bank allocated a special account to be driven only by slaves to pay the salaries of the region

Baghdad – Iraq Press – January 18: Commenting on the announcement by the Ministry of Finance in the Kurdistan Regional Government earlier that Baghdad allocated 450 billion dinars to pay the salaries of employees of Kurdistan, revealed the Finance Committee parliamentary, on Thursday, “The Central Bank of Iraq has opened A special bank account in the Kurdistan region without knowledge of the balance of the account, pointing out that “the federal government will henceforth send amounts allocated to the Kurdistan region through this bank account.”
“According to the law, when the federal government wants to transfer any funds to the Kurdistan region, it must open a bank account, and through this account, the money will be transferred,” the committee’s commissioner Ahmad Haj Rashid said in a press statement. Money deposited in this account is transferred through the Federal Prime Minister only and that the Iraqi government sent directives to the ministries and departments concerned to take the necessary action, and will be Prime Minister Haider Abadi is the only person who will be able to move this amount.

  Iraq signs an international contract to collect the wages of aircraft transiting its airspace


Date of release: 2018/1/19 13:35 • 227 times read
(Baghdad: Al-Furat News) The Civil Aviation Authority of the Ministry of Transport signed a contract for the collection of aircraft transiting the Iraqi airspace with the organization of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“The technical agent of the Ministry of Transport, head of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority, Abbas Amran Musa, signed a contract to collect the fees for the transit of aircraft to the Iraqi airspace with the official of the International Organization {ILAYATA} representative of companies operating in the air transport sector Mohammed Absh. ”
Moussa explained that “this contract is the first of its kind, which entails the task of collecting the transit of Iraqi airspace to all airlines across the airspace in return for the provision of administrative services to Iraq.”
He pointed out that “the conclusion of this contract came to provide safe and regular air transport and also is an important economic factor contributes to the recovery of the country’s economy.”
The rate of traffic through Iraqi airspace has increased significantly after the lifting of the warning by the FAA in addition to the geographical location of Iraq, which attracts all Gulf countries and the region.