US Secretary of State leaves Iraq after four-hour visit.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

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Pompeo in Baghdad on unannounced visit: Iraq govt source

 

Iraq
By AFP minute ago
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in the 11th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi, Finland on May 7, 2019. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/pool
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in the 11th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council in Rovaniemi, Finland on May 7, 2019. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/pool

BAGHDAD – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Baghdad late Tuesday on an unannounced visit, an Iraqi government source told AFP, cancelling a trip to Germany amid escalating US-Iran tensions.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the high security nature of the visit, said Pompeo was set to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi.

The visit comes two days after the US announced it was dispatching an aircraft carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakeable” message to Iran.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said the deployment was in response to a “number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings,” but did not elaborate.

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,” he said.

Pompeo had been en route to Germany but suddenly cancelled the trip due to “pressing issues,” the State Department said, without elaborating where he was heading.

But in response to a question about threats from Iran or its proxies on US forces in Iraq, the top US diplomat mentioned both Iraq and Jordan.

“As Secretary of State I have a responsibility to keep the officers that work for me safe each and every day all around the world. That includes in Erbil and Baghdad, in our facilities in Amman, all around the Middle East,” he said.

“And so any time we receive threat reporting, things that raise concerns, we do everything… that we can to make sure that those planned or contemplated attacks don’t take place, and to make sure that we’ve got the right security posture,” he said.

Pompeo had been traveling from Finland, where he had attended a meeting of the Arctic Council.

He was due to meet both Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas later Tuesday in Germany.

Cabinet issues several decisions concerning employees and retirees {extended}

Date of release: 2019/5/7 16:19

(Baghdad: Al-Furat News) The Cabinet held its regular session on Tuesday, chaired by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, and the Council discussed many issues and issued the necessary decisions on them.

A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office received the agency {Euphrates News} copy of it that “the Council voted on the project of southern Iraq integrated, where the Council of Ministers briefed on the ongoing negotiations between the Ministry of Oil and Exxon Mobil and Petrojina on this project.”

The Council of Ministers agreed to “extend the work of the Council of Ministers No. 175 for the year 2018 on the recovery of Iraqi funds illegally obtained by [non-Iraqis and foreigners].”

The Council of Ministers decided

to amend the grades of the job vacancy and retirees and resigners of the sons of the Yazidi component The Council approved the amendment of paragraph 4 of the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 122 of 2019 on procedures for the compensation of damage caused by bird flu.

The Cabinet decided “to amend paragraph 2 of the Cabinet Resolution No. 194 of 2014 on the sale of state-owned houses and apartments to citizens and employees in advance,

and the Cabinet discussed the support of farmers and farmers.

http://alforatnews.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=197293

Iraq is among the top 40 countries holding gold during the first quarter of 2019

Market

Economy News _ Baghdad

The World Gold Council said Tuesday that Iraq is among the top 40 countries holding gold during the first quarter of this year.

The Council said in a report published on its official website and viewed by “Economy News” that “Iraq ranked 38 among the top 40 countries for their holdings of gold during the first quarter of 2019,” noting that “this amount amounted to 96.3 tons, which represents 6% of reserves Iraq Other “.

The Council added that “the United States ranked first in the world in terms of these reserves, which amounted to more than 8133 followed by Germany with 3369 tons,” indicating that “six Arab countries were among the top 40 countries for gold holdings, which included Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Algeria, Libya, Iraq and Kuwait” .

The UK-based World Gold Council has extensive experience and deep knowledge of the drivers of market change and its members are among the largest and most advanced gold mining companies in the world.

http://economy-news.net/content.php?id=16549

The International Monetary Fund recommends Iraq to follow these steps to reform the financial structure

Economie

11:51

BAGHDAD / The

head of the International Monetary Fund’s mission to Iraq, Gavin Gray, on Tuesday recommended a number of key reforms Iraq must follow to reform the financial structure.

“The first of these reforms is public sector wages that can ease short-term spending pressures through compensation measures, such as setting allowances, bonuses and other non-core payments, and not replacing retirees in full,” Gray said in a statement. “He said.

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IMF completes Article IV consultations on Iraq

A team from the International Monetary Fund, headed by Gavin Gray , visited the Jordanian capital of Amman from 25 April to 2 May, with the aim of holding discussions with the Iraqi authorities in the context of Article IV consultations , For 2019.

At the end of the visit, according to a statement by the IMF, Gray said the end of the war on a buoyant organization and the resurgence of oil prices offer an opportunity to rebuild Iraq and overcome long-standing socio-economic problems.

“But the challenges to achieving these goals are enormous, the pace of economic recovery is still slow, reconstruction is very limited after the war is over, and the large current spending increases risk, putting public funds and central bank reserves on track Its continuity can not be sustained.

Anti-corruption was very important to enhance the effectiveness of public institutions, to support investment efforts and to create employment by the private sector .

“In the short term, the short-term weakness is reversed in 2018, with a surplus in the budget and a build-up in the central bank’s reserves,” he said.

Non-oil growth is expected to rise to 5.4 percent in 2019 on the back of increased investment spending; however, fiscal deficits are expected to rise in the medium term, requiring funding that could squeeze the private sector or erode the central bank’s reserves.

Under these conditions, capital spending may be difficult to sustain, and growth will likely slow considerably .

” Therefore, policy changes and structural reforms – including improved governance – are essential to sustain medium-term economic sustainability and to lay the foundations for inclusive growth,” he said .

“The fiscal policy should be based on the gradual expansion of public investment, while at the same time building safety margins,” said the head of the mission.

“To find the required space, IFAD staff recommends budget savings of about 9 percent of GDP over the medium term by tightening control over current spending, especially on public sector wages, and taking phased measures to boost revenue Non-oil.

He explained that setting ceilings for current budget spending, starting with the 2020 budget onwards, would enhance the fiscal framework’s ability to support a higher volume of investment and adapt to the shocks in oil prices. Major reforms should include :

The containment of public sector wages; short-term spending pressures could be suppressed through compensatory measures, such as a ceiling on allowances, emoluments and other non-wage payments, combined with the enforcement of natural decline in public sector staffing.

Structural measures in the medium term, based on a functional workforce review and deeper reforms in the civil service system, will be necessary once new human resources and information management systems are put in place .

Gray said reforms in the electricity sector were key to addressing poor service quality and cutting high electricity costs in the budget because of low tariff rates, chronic non-payment of electricity bills and poor maintenance .

On the support of public finance management, strengthening the legal framework, improving compliance and other control systems were key factors aimed at minimizing the misuse of public resources and restoring discipline in the budget .

In the financial sector, a strong plan to restructure large-scale public sector banks and the strengthening of bank controls was necessary to ensure financial stability and would help promote financial development and financial coverage.

The strengthening of AML / CFT controls and the strengthening of supervision would help Iraq prevent the misuse of the Iraqi financial sector for the purpose of harvesting criminal proceeds from money laundering and terrorist financing .

He called on the IMF to address the weakness of governance and vulnerabilities that spread through corruption, which he considered a very important factor in achieving the goals described in the policies.

The Fund called for ensuring the independence and integrity of anti-corruption bodies, and the AML / CFT system should be activated to support anti-corruption efforts .

The IMF team will prepare a report, subject to approval by the Administration, and is tentatively scheduled for consideration by the Executive Board of the Fund in July 2019 .

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