An Egyptian analyst: Cairo is trying to return Iraq to the forefront of the Arab region

08-25-2020 12:40 AM


Baghdad / Al-Akhbariya:
The Egyptian writer and journalist Omar Kenawy revealed, on Tuesday, that his country is seeking to restore Iraq to the leading role in the region, indicating that the Arab region was left to a leadership that was not suspended.
“The Arab region was left to a leadership that was not suspended, and Cairo is trying to return Iraq to the forefront of the Arab region,” Kenawy said in a televised statement followed by Al-Akhbariya.
He added, “The tripartite summit is trying to restore the leadership of the Arab region, and Iraq may witness attempts to drag it into concluding peace with Israel.”



Iraq and Britain sign a memorandum of understanding … and its details revealed

Editing date: 08/24/2020 21:04


Iraq and Britain signed a memorandum of understanding to boost the Iraqi economy.

“I am delighted to welcome the Iraqi Finance Minister [Ali Allawi] to the British Foreign Office, to discuss his vision for a more prosperous Iraq,” said British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs James Cleverley in a tweet.

“I am proud to announce a memorandum of understanding on British aid to support its efforts to strengthen the Iraqi economy and provide more jobs and economic opportunities for the benefit of all Iraqis,” he added.

The Minister of Finance, Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi, arrived in the British capital, London.

“We look forward to a fruitful visit,” the British ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, said in a tweet on Monday.

He added, “We are looking forward to fruitful discussions about how the UK can best support Iraq’s economy and its reform program.”

Iraq to ‘significantly’ cut gas imports from Iran next year: Iraqi finance minister

yesterday at 07:34

Lawk Ghafuri

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq will “significantly” reduce its heavy reliance on Iranian energy imports by as soon as next year, Iraq’s finance minister said in an online interview with an American international affairs think tank on Friday.

Minister Ali Allawi’s comments to the Atlantic Council on the future of his country’s energy sector follow Iraq’s latest round of strategic dialogue with the United States, a longtime adversary of Iran.

“This is has been going on for several years now, it is unlikely we can find a short term substitute, but a medium-term effort can be done by linking the Iraqi grid to the Gulf grid,” Allawi said. “The dependence on Iranian electricity and energy will begin to trail down significantly sometime next year.”

Allawi was part of a delegation accompanying Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on his visit last week to Washington, where a second round of US-Iraq strategic dialogue took place. Talks focused on security, economic, and energy cooperation between the two countries.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and US President Donald Trump both highlighted expanding economic ties in comments to the media after a meeting in the White House on Thursday.

Baghdad and Washington signed a series of oil and energy agreements to develop Iraq’s energy sector. Among them was an agreement with US energy giant Chevron to “develop the Iraqi oil and gas sector,” the finance minister told the Atlantic Council.

Also discussed in Washington was energy sector investment from Riyadh.

“Saudi Arabia is to invest in the Iraqi energy and gas sector, including Saudi-owned companies Aramco and Aqua group,” Allawi confirmed in the Atlantic Council interview.

Iraq has long suffered from chronic outages and shortages of electricity in a country where summer temperatures reach 50 degrees Celsius. Rampant electricity shortages have in past years been a rallying call for protestors, most notably in the summer of 2018.

War, corruption, insecurity and lack of investment have all together contributed to a deteriorating grid, leaving Iraqis at times with as little as five hours of national electricity per day. Privately owned generators set up in neighborhoods try to supplement the lost hours, making Iraqis pay twice for electricity.

To make up for the shortage, Iraq has been importing electricity and natural gas to power its generation stations from neighboring Iran, much to the ire of Washington, which has imposed crippling economic sanctions on Tehran.

Washington has granted Baghdad several waivers to continue imports of Iranian energy without penalty, but ultimately expects it to gradually reduce its reliance on Iranian gas and electricity imports.

The current waiver, Iraq’s ninth, issued in May, gives the country 120 days to continue its energy imports without financial penalties for the trade that has otherwise been banned by the US, after Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing sanctions on Iran in November 2018.

The current waiver is due to expire next month.

Iran exports 1200-1500 megawatts of electricity to Iraq on a daily basis, in addition to 38 million cubic meters of natural gas to feed several of Iraq’s power stations, according to Sayyid Hamid Hosseini, secretary general of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce. In June, Baghdad and Tehran signed a two-year contract to continue the imports.

Iraq has also signed deals with German giant Siemens and American General Electric to overhaul its outdated electricity grid.

The disclosure of 5 types of support that Al-Kazemi obtained during his recent visit to Washington

Policy 08/24/2020 16:57 822 Editor: ht    

Baghdad today follow up

The head of the Victory Parliamentary Bloc, Adnan Al-Zarfi, revealed, on Monday, August 24, 2020, 5 types of support that the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazimi, obtained during his recent visit to Washington, while those who objected to this support called for resorting to political methods.

Al-Zorfi said in a televised statement that (Baghdad Today) that “Trump expressed his harmony with Mustafa Al-Kazemi and he can deal with him, and this matter should be exploited because it is a recognition of the role of Iraq now and in the future.”

He added, “The United States provided 5 types of support to Al-Kazemi during his visit to Washington, the first is a political supporter of his government’s reform steps, the second is security, and his goal is to continue the war on ISIS and provide intelligence information to the Iraqi forces, and the third is economic through the contracts signed in energy and investment, The fourth was regarding support for withdrawal in 3 years. ”

Al-Zorfi stated that “the American Export Bank opened the door for Iraq to borrow to finance energy, electricity and agricultural projects, and this is a fifth support, and there is an agreement to finance it with $ 5 billion,” indicating that “this matter was signed by the Iraqi Minister of Electricity with the Stellar Company in Washington during a visit Al-Kazemi last. ”

With regard to the issue of the US withdrawal from Iraq, Al-Zarfi said, “There are two views. The first is partisan that wants to accelerate the withdrawal, and patriotism believes that it is in the interest of the international coalition to remain in the presence of a need because of the threat of terrorism.”

Al-Zorfi demanded that “those who object to US support reject it by political means.”

Al-Zorfi said that it is not correct for Al-Kazemi to enter a confrontation with the factions because of the US withdrawal file. Rather, there must be a national dialogue in this regard, pointing out that “it is in the interest of Iraq to have strong relations with America, in order to protect its economy and its borders.”

And on the parliament’s decision to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq, Al-Zarfi stressed that “the government is not bound by it, because it is a decision and not a law that requires the government to abide by it.”

He pointed out that “the recent visit must be supported and supported by the results of it, and not to question it because it is in the interest of Iraq,” noting that “the current government needs support in order to complete its pledges to hold early elections and improve the economy.”

The Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, returned to Baghdad on Saturday (August 22, 2020) after concluding his visit to Washington.

During his visit to Washington, Al-Kazemi met a large number of US officials, including US President Donald Trump, and received a phone call from the leader of the Republicans in the US Senate.

And on Thursday, Baghdad published the joint statement of a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, in Washington, DC.

The closing statement issued by the White House stated that “the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq is based on a common desire for security and prosperity.”

The statement added, “The international coalition led by the United States to defeat ISIS and the Iraqi security forces together destroyed the physical caliphate of ISIS and we continue to work in close coordination to ensure that ISIS is unable to pose a threat to Iraq and every other country.”

And the statement continued, “We reaffirm our commitment to long-term security cooperation to build the military capacity of Iraq and address threats to our common interests.”

He continued, “Our security cooperation strengthens the basis of our efforts to expand economic, humanitarian, political and cultural cooperation.”

He pointed out that “the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic also confirms the importance of working together to build a prosperous and stable Iraq that provides jobs and services to the Iraqi people and acts as a stabilizing force in the Middle East.”

Before that, the US President, Donald Trump, said that the Iraqi security forces had performed an important performance in the face of ISIS, while affirming the US support for Iraq so that it was ready to defend itself, as he put it.

Trump said, during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, that “Baghdad and Erbil have achieved good cooperation in the war on ISIS, and we supported that.”

He added, “The Iraqi forces have performed an important performance in the face of ISIS, and we will support Iraq to be ready to defend itself, and we look forward to the day when the need for the survival of our forces ends.”

And the US President continued, “Iraq is an independent country and has a good government that is able to resolve important files, and it is not appropriate for us to stay there for long,” noting that America has “the strongest army in the world and are able to deter any attacks in Iraq anywhere.”

He referred to the participation of the United States in “many oil exploration projects in Iraq.”

An upcoming summit between Al-Kazemi and all Iraqi political forces regarding a “very important file”

2020-08-24 09:07

A- A A +

Shafaq News / Saad Al-Saadi, a leader in the “Al-Fateh” coalition led by Secretary-General of the Badr Organization, Hadi Al-Amiri, said today, Monday, that a meeting will be held between the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, and all political forces, to discuss “a very important file . ”

Al-Saadi told Shafaq News that “one of the most important tasks of Mustafa Al-Kazemi’s government is the issue of removing foreign forces from Iraq, and we called for a frank dialogue with the US administration, during his visit to the United States of America .”

Al-Kazemi and a high-level government delegation recently visited the United States, and met with US President Donald Trump, as the latter said that his country is committed to withdrawing its forces from Iraq according to a timetable prepared for this purpose.

Al-Saadi said, “There is an upcoming meeting between Al-Kazemi and all political forces, not just Shiites, for the purpose of Al-Kazemi presenting a report to these forces on the results of his visit and what was agreed upon in Washington, clearly and clearly .”

The leader of the Al-Fateh Alliance added that “after studying the report, which Al-Kazemi will present to the political forces, those forces will arrange their positions and priorities for the next stage, and all options will be on the table, and for each incident there is a talk.”

On the fifth of last January, the Iraqi parliament voted on a resolution demanding Baghdad work to remove foreign forces from the country .

The decision came two days after Washington assassinated the commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, and the leader of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, in an air strike near Baghdad airport .

The US forces have withdrawn, along with the Washington-led coalition forces, from 8 military bases in Iraq since the killing of Soleimani and the engineer. The international coalition says that this falls within the framework of repositioning and withdrawing from bases that contain a small number of soldiers.

The tripartite summit between Jordan, Egypt and Iraq will be held on Tuesday

Oman – opinion

An informed source said that the tripartite summit that will bring together His Majesty King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, will be held on Tuesday in Amman.

The summit will be held for the third time, and it will focus on strengthening economic, trade and investment cooperation between Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, in addition to discussing regional issues. The first tripartite summit was held in Cairo in March 2019, followed by a tripartite summit in New York in September of last year.

Parliamentary Finance: The International Monetary Fund’s support for Iraq is subject to two conditions

Classification:  Iraqi

Monday, 24 August 2020 3:51 PM

Baghdad / National News Center – A member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Jamal Cougar, announced today, Monday, two conditions for the International Monetary Fund to support Iraq with important loans and projects.

“The meeting that the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, conducted during his visit to Washington with the Director General of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, is very important to the Iraqi state,” Cougar said in a press interview, followed by the National News Center.

He added, “The meeting held between Al-Kazemi and the International Monetary Fund is very important, in general, because when there is direct interaction from such institutions and the World Bank, it means that the situation is stable, which prompts these institutions to encourage countries that have relations with them to support Iraq with projects or loans. Or investments or charitable projects such as donations.

Cougar explained, “We hope that Al-Kazemi has been able to persuade these institutions to support Iraq and obtain infrastructure projects from them,” noting that “the International Monetary Fund announced a while ago that it was ready to support Iraq with an amount of about $ 2.2 billion.”

Cougar continued, “But so far, the amount of money from the International Monetary Fund to support Iraq has not been determined.”

And a member of the Finance Committee stated that “there are two conditions for the International Monetary Fund to support Iraq, namely:

The first is for that money to go to infrastructure projects, not to salaries and the operational budget, and the second is for the atmosphere to be appropriate for the establishment of those projects, meaning providing an appropriate security and investment environment.

The Minister of Finance leads a delegation to the United Kingdom and holds its first meeting there

Policy 2020/08/24 13:38 286 Editor: ta    

Baghdad today – Baghdad

The Iraqi Finance Minister, Ali Allawi, arrived today, Monday, at the head of an official delegation to the British capital, London.

British Ambassador to Baghdad Stephen Hackey said in a tweet, which I read (Baghdad today), that ” I am pleased to welcome the visit of His Excellency the Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi to the United Kingdom, and I look forward to a fruitful visit.”

The photos that Haki attached to the tweet showed that an Iraqi-British meeting was held in the presence of personalities from both sides, including the Iraqi ambassador to London, Jaafar al-Sadr.

A Kurdish MP talks about a comprehensive agreement between Baghdad and Erbil, which will be in effect until the end of 2020

2020/08/24 12:03

The number of readings 48

Section : Iraq

Baghdad / Obelisk: A member of the Kurdistan Regional Parliament, Sherzad Hassan, confirmed, Monday, August 24, 2020, that Baghdad and Erbil have reached a comprehensive agreement, stressing that what remains to declare it is the final touches, and then it will be implemented.

In an interview received by Al-Masalla, Hassan stated that the agreement will be in effect until the end of 2020 and will be related to salaries and sending money in exchange for implementing the conditions of the federal government in terms of controlling border crossings and the rest of the files.

He added that other agreements on oil will be within the 2021 budget, which will be the prerogative of the Kurdish representatives in the government and parliament in order to obtain the rights of the region and confirm them in the budget law.

And he indicated that a delegation from the regional government had intended to visit Baghdad, and the visit was postponed due to Al-Kazemi’s travel to Washington, and that it is most likely at the beginning of next week that the delegation will be in Baghdad to complete all files and sign a comprehensive agreement until the end of 2020.

And the Minister of the Kurdistan Region for Negotiation Affairs with Baghdad, Khaled Shawani, announced on Sunday August 16, 2020, that an agreement had been reached between Baghdad and Erbil to unify customs and ports in accordance with federal controls and the budget and would continue until the 2021 budget is approved.

Shwani said in a statement, that after a series of visits by the delegation of the Kurdistan region, headed by Qubad Talabani, with the aim of obtaining financial dues for the Kurdistan region and salaries of employees, and after a number of meetings, and changing the proposals and notes for 12 times, the agreement was announced between the two parties.

He added that the negotiations witnessed a lot of ebb and flow, and the process was difficult and complex, and our efforts were seeking to secure the financial rights of the region’s employees and protect the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan region, and the agreement will be in effect until the 2021 budget law is approved, starting a new phase of negotiations on the 2021 budget.

Shwani explained that the agreement includes sending 320 billion dinars per month to the Kurdistan region, and it deals with a set of other files, such as monitoring, auditing, the mechanism for handling many financial and economic files, and the mechanism for dealing with the revenues of border crossings under the Federal Financial Management Law No. 6 of 2019.

An amount of 320 billion dinars, sent from Baghdad to Erbil, is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, Monday, according to an agreement reached by the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, and the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, in a phone call yesterday, to disburse the salaries of Kurdistan Region employees. 

 A source in the Kurdistan Regional Government stated that the Council of Ministers decided to send this amount to the region tomorrow.  

The Ministry of Finance in the Kurdistan region currently has a liquidity of 400 billion for the payment of salaries, and with the arrival of 320 billion dinars, the total amount will be 720 billion, but it is still not sufficient to disburse salaries completely without deduction, as this costs the government 890 billion dinars.