The spokesman for the commander of the armed forces, Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf, that the operations of the Ministry of Health did not record any case of martyrdom in the yards of demonstrations on Friday.
Khalaf lied in a press statement “what was reported in some media about the fall of martyrs among the demonstrators on Friday.” The Reuters news agency, quoting officials and security sources, reported the death of 4 and the injury of about 30 others in the demonstrations today.
It is scheduled to visit a high-level delegation of the Kurdistan Regional Government on Saturday, the federal capital of Baghdad to discuss the issue of oil, financial budget for next year in addition to other notable.
According to the information available, the delegation of the regional government will visit Baghdad tomorrow and meet with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Oil Minister Thamer Ghadban, and Finance Minister Fuad Hussein and will discuss the issue of oil and gas and the general budget.
The delegation consists of the Minister of Finance and Economy, Awat Sheikh Janab, the Minister of the Region, Khalid Shwani, the Chief of the Cabinet, Omid Sabah, and the Secretary of the Council of Ministers of the Region, Aman Rahim.
An informed Kurdish source revealed on Friday, November 22, 2019, the details of the “ final agreement ” between the Kurdistan region and the central government on the 2020 budget.
The source told (Baghdad today), “a delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government, headed by the Minister of the region, Khalid Shwani will visit Baghdad mid next week, to discuss the agreement with Baghdad on the region’s share of the budget and financial situation between Baghdad and Erbil.”
He added that “there is a preliminary agreement to deliver 250 thousand barrels of oil to Baghdad in return for the federal government pledged to pay the salaries of employees full salaries of the Peshmerga in addition to the delivery of Arbil 13% of the budget and the province will deliver daily oil and revenue crossings to the government.”
He pointed out that “Baghdad is waiting for the signing of the final agreement with the region for the government to send the budget to parliament.”
Hassan Ali, a PUK MP, said Tuesday (19 November 2019) that negotiations between Baghdad and Erbil would resume next week.
Ali said in an interview with (Baghdad today) that “the lack of agreement between Baghdad and Erbil to approve the draft budget in 2020 because the Council of Ministers is waiting for agreement between the parties on the proportion of the region.”
He added, “The dialogues that were postponed due to the demonstrations will be resumed next week for the purpose of allowing the government to send the draft budget to parliament to vote on it as soon as possible so that the government can implement the demands of the demonstrators.”
He pointed out that “will be a discussion on the share of the region and the continued distribution of salaries and dialogue on the delivery of Erbil to the oil receivables in return for Baghdad’s commitment to implement the financial commitments made.”
Negotiations on budget issues, oil deliveries and the participation of people in the disputed areas in the upcoming elections were interrupted after demonstrations broke out in Baghdad and a number of central and southern provinces in early October, which forced negotiations and dialogues between Baghdad and Erbil to stop several times.
The US ambassador to Baghdad, Matthew Toller, has concluded what could be considered an “ extraordinary week ” because of his movements and at least his public meetings with Iraqi officials , most notably Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi , Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, and President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zeidan.
This movement was notable for the attention of observers and politicians, who said that it comes after a period of lukewarm embassy since Abdul Mahdi took over the prime minister and following the agreement in which he considered that the commander of the “Quds Force” in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Qassem Soleimani, surpassed the US envoy to Iraq at the time Brett McGurk, October 2018, which also led considerable pressure in government formation consultations, where the three Iraqi presidencies, the Republic, the government, and the parliament, ended up with figures not far from Iran .
According to political sources, one of whom is a member of the Iraqi parliament, the various political parties are monitoring the movements of Ambassador Tuler, who has a clear impact in Yemen during his work there as an ambassador to Washington, and finally coming to Iraq.
A deputy, who is a leader in the “victory” coalition headed by former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, said that the recent activity of the US embassy may be in tune with the Iranian move to support the government of Abdul-Mahdi , or because there is an American direction for Iraq, saying that “the presence of Qasim Soleimani in Baghdad And his recent moves make everyone in front of refusing to move the parties or silence. ”
He pointed out that “the US move seems clearer, meetings are announced, unlike the Iranian, which is certainly stronger and have a faster effect on the Iraqi scene .”
An Iraqi politician explained that the US ambassador’s current moves “tend to stop repression and restrict press freedoms,” saying that “the Americans do not want the current Iraqi political process a complete failure or change, they are the basic building blocks, and all their current and future moves are to bring them back to the circle of influence.”
To that, the leader of the Iraqi Salvation Front, Atheel al-Nujaifi, to the “new Arab”, that “the United States has strategic interests in the region as a whole, and therefore it is monitoring what is happening, and calculated the consequences of things from the beginning,” noting that “the American movement came After sensing the danger of the consequences of things, and therefore must have a role before a disaster that harms its interests, and also harms the interests of Iraq . “
Nujaifi pointed out that “the US move is normal for a country such as the United States, especially with the existence of the strategic agreement between Baghdad and Washington, which relates to security, and this must remain this contact and communication.”
He added that “the American movement will have an impact on the street, as it will affect the parties and political blocs close to Tehran. America controls the joints of the global economy, and so it can influence any political force that it finds contrary to its strategic policy.”
Haider al-Mulla, a leader of the Alliance of Iraqi Forces led by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, told Al-Arabi al-Jadeed that with the start of the protests in Iraq in early October, the US position was “timid.”
Mullah said that the “surprise of the United States from the popular movement that happened is the reason for the silence of the first days of the demonstrations,” and explained that “after the Iraqi demonstrations took legitimacy after the recognition of the international community, the United Nations and the European Union, as well as presidencies in Iraq and political forces, and reference Najaf “America is moving to try to save face, to find a way out.”
“The American moves are an attempt to involve themselves in this movement in order to convey a message that they are keen on democracy and are keen on freedom of opinion in Iraq and the region. That is why Ambassador Toller started shuttling in Baghdad.”
He warned that “the entry of any external factor from any party on the line of demonstrations will weaken these demonstrations, these demonstrations began with an internal will not be politicized or calculated for a political party, and therefore the entry of any political party or external factor will weaken them.”
On the other hand, the head of the Center for Political Thinking, Ihsan al-Shammari, told the “new Arab”, that “the American movement is no different from the Iranian movement with the parties (Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish), but Washington is now engaged formally and clearly to resolve the current crisis, it is aware that There is a duty to go to find solutions. “
And that America believes that “the arrangement of the next situation should not be outside the framework of US strategy, it does not want Iran to be dominated inside Iraq, and therefore began the movements of the US ambassador.”
Shammari added that “the issue of the popular uprising, as well as the resignation of Adel Abdul Mahdi, and the holding of early elections, prompted the American movement so that Washington has room in the upcoming arrangements.”
Demonstrators gesture as they take part in ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad on Thursday. (Reuters)
BAGHDAD: Tension between Iraqi Defense Minister Najah Al-Shammari and several Iranian-backed armed factions peaked on Thursday after documents emerged showing the Iraqi Defense Ministry had tear gas canisters in its warehouses imported from Serbia years ago.
Baghdad and nine southern Shiite-dominated provinces have been witnessing anti-government demonstrations since Oct. 1.
More than 300 demonstrators have died and about 16,000 have been injured so far, mostly in Baghdad, by tear gas and live bullets used by Iraqi forces to quell the protests.
In an earlier television interview, Al-Shammari said Iraqi security forces had not shot at demonstrators and that orders since October had been clear that no live bullets should be used to deal with the protesters.
Al-Shammari also said tear gas that killed dozens of demonstrators after they were hit directly in the head and chest by canisters was not imported by the Iraqi government.
He accused a “third party” of killing the demonstrators.
“Third parties fired (at the demonstrators) in an attempt to make the conflict seem between security forces and demonstrators,” Al-Shammari said.
“A third party has been killing protesters and security forces.”
Since the start of the protests, the majority of Iraqis have used specific words to describe the demonstrators, security forces, and armed factions supporting the government.
The “third party” is the description used to describe Iranian-backed factions to differentiate between them and security forces, often referred to as the “second party,” while describing the demonstrators as the “first party”.
“Third party” became a term of ridicule after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi unintentionally used it several times in a statements to shirk responsibility for killings, kidnappings and arrests of protesters, activists, journalists and even officials.
The defense minister’s allegations have angered a number of Iranian-backed armed factions and their associated security and military leaders.
He has also faced charges of forgery, manipulation of official records and lying.
On Thursday, the Resistance Media Network, a group of Iranian-funded channels, distributed documents revealing that the Iraqi Ministry of Defense had imported tear gas, smoke and sound bombs, rifles and other riot gear from Serbia under a contract entered into by the Ministry with Yugo Import SDPR in 2007.
Another document revealed the quantity and types of equipment and weapons used by riot police and government-affiliated forces during the past seven weeks, starting from Sept. 30 to Nov. 18, clearly indicating that the Ministry of Defense forces used thousands of tear gas canisters during that period.
Similarly damaging for the defense minister were links to press reports in the Swedish media about Al-Shammari, indicating that the minister, who has been living in Sweden since 2007 and holds Swedish citizenship, is registered there as exempt from work and taxes, and enjoys a pension and free health care as a result of poor mental health.
Iraqi security and military figures have confirmed the involvement of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and field commander of Iranian operations in Iraq in the suppression of demonstrators.
“The minister is under tremendous pressure now,” a senior military commander told Arab News. “He revealed their (Iranian-backed factions) involvement in the killing of protesters. Although he did not name them, it was clear who was meant by the ‘third party’.
“To be honest, he (Al-Shammari) refused to use violence against demonstrators when he was asked to do so. Then these statements came out to destroy his political future.
“They (Iranian-backed factions) decided to terminate him politically, so these files began to appear both inside and outside Iraq.”
The Minister of Finance and Economy in the Kurdistan Regional Government, Awat Janab Noori, on Friday (November 22, 2019), there is no problem in the process of payment of salaries to employees of the region.
“The ministry will pay the salaries of all ministries and agencies during the next week,” Nuri said in a statement received by Baghdad.
He added, “The process of disbursing the salaries of employees continues as in the past months according to a specific schedule of disbursement.
SULAIMANI — A delegation from the Kurdistan Region will pay a visit to Baghdad in the coming days, a senior Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) official said on Friday (November 22).
KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani told PUK-affiliated media that the delegation would discuss the persistent issues between the two governments during the visits in an attempted to resolve them.
Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said in a televised interview late on Thursday that a KRG delegation might visit Baghdad on Sunday.
A delegation led by Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani visited Baghdad on November 13 and met with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, and Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbusi, as well as other Iraqi politicians.
That was President Barzani’s second visit to Baghdad since his inauguration in June.
Baghdad is a place where Kurds can strengthen their political and constitutional rights and that the Kurdistan Region will focus on consolidating its position there, Barzani said at the American University of Kurdistan in Duhok as a part of the Middle East Peace and Security Forum on Wednesday
In a speech at the same event, KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said that the Kurdish government wanted to resolve issues with Baghdad.
“We definitely are looking at repairing relations with Baghdad,” he noted.
Under the 2019 Federal Budget Law, Baghdad is required to send 12.67 percent of the federal budget to Erbil in return for 250,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The KRG has so far failed to meet its obligations and, in response, Baghdad cut transfers and is only sending enough to pay public sector salaries.
Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani (L) meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi in Baghdad, Iraq, June 20, 2019. Photo/Nechirvan Barzani Twitter
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SULAIMANI — The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq could start delivering 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil to the Baghdad federal government by early 2020, Iraq’s oil minister said.
The oil would be delivered to state oil marketer SOMO which would export it via pipeline through the Turkish port of Ceyhan, Thamer Ghadhban said in a televised interview late on Thursday (November 22), according to Reuters.
Deliveries should have begun under a deal agreed two years ago.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government is obliged to send no less than 250,000 bpd to SOMO for it to sell in Ceyhan in Turkey, and the returns go to the federal budget,” he told the local broadcaster al-Ahd.
The region produced 440,000 bpd last month, he added.
Kurdistan’s oil exports have long been a source of contention with Baghdad. The Kurds, who control Iraq’s only northern pipeline, had been exporting oil independently since 2013. Exports from Kirkuk restarted in 2018, after a year-long freeze following a failed bid for independence.
The backlash was swift and pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war as Baghdad launched a military offensive which threatened to undo years of unprecedented autonomy the region had enjoyed.
Exports from smaller oilfields under the regional government’s control continued.
Relations have improved with a change of governments in Baghdad and Erbil.
As part of the 2018 and 2019 budgets, the Kurdistan Regional Government agreed to send 250,000 bpd to federal authorities in exchange for Baghdad paying civil servant salaries.
“The 2019 federal budget law is very clear about the obligations of both the federal and regional governments,” the minister said, adding that the Kurds had yet to send any oil.
He said this could change in 2020 and he had told SOMO officials “to prepare themselves for receiving 250,000 bpd starting next year because that’s what I understand from talks.”
A team of Kurdistan Regional Government ministers was due to arrive in Baghdad in Sunday to discuss budget issues, he said.
Baghdad / Obelisk: The House of Representatives intends to vote on 7 laws related to the demands of the protesters, including with regard to health insurance, slums, retirement and others.
Abbas al-Atafi, a member of the Coalition for Change, said Friday that the parliament will vote in the next few sessions on a wide range of laws.
He attributed the recent parliamentary activity to the mass movement taking place in the country, to provide important laws and reform expected by the citizen.
Al-Atafi said, “There is a strong movement within the House of Representatives to legislate laws of social security and health and retirement and the Federal Court and housing and the abolition of slums and the Construction and Service Council.”
He continued, “The next sessions will witness the legislation of important laws aspired by the citizen and achieve the demands of the demonstrators, as most of the laws mentioned have been worked on and there is only a vote.”
He pointed out that “the coming period is abundant legal legislation, in conjunction with the demands of the demonstrators and the public pressure at the moment, which prompted parliament and the government to intensify their efforts to advance the reform laws.”
The Supreme Religious authority Ali al-Sistani, on Friday, that the enactment of an election law and its commission pave the way to overcome the crisis in the country.
This came during a statement by the representative of the representative Abdul Mahdi Karbalai, “The religious authority has clarified its position on the peaceful protests calling for reform in last Friday’s sermon through several points, including stressing its peacefulness and free from violence and sabotage, stress on the sanctity of Iraqi blood, and the need for the response of forces Political demands of the rightful protesters. ”
He added, “The authority, stressing the above, stresses the need to expedite the completion of the electoral law and the law of its commission as described in that speech, because they pave the way for overcoming the great crisis that the country is going through.”