In Iraq .. 3 files await the outcome of the US elections

Time: 10/16/2020 20:56:48

{International: Al Furat News} Many around the world are awaiting the results of the US elections and what the victory of one of the candidates could reflect on the US foreign policies, and Iraq may be one of the most interested in what the ballot will leave.

As usual, two candidates will compete in the US elections scheduled for the third of next month, one of them affiliated with the Republican Party represented by the current President Donald Trump, and the other representing the Democratic Party, which is former Vice President Joe Biden.

It is known that both parties have different views on dealing with external and internal files alike.

What matters to the Iraqis, of course, is Washington’s foreign policy, and will Iraq be among the priorities of the United States during the next four years, or not?

The US presidential elections this year come in light of the escalating discussions about the fate of the US forces in Iraq, and the attempts of political forces to pressure towards the removal of all American soldiers from the country, in addition to the file of bombing operations against the US embassy in Baghdad with missiles from time to time.

Observers believe that it is known that the United States is a state of institutions, and its foreign policies do not necessarily change for the arrival of this or that candidate to the White House, but nonetheless others believe that some files may be subject to the president’s view sometimes.

Iyad Al-Anbar, a professor of political science at the University of Kufa, says that there are three important files for Iraq that could be affected by the arrival of Trump or Biden to the presidency of the United States.

The first is the file of the US military presence in Iraq, the second is related to ISIS, and the third and last file, and perhaps the most important, is the US-Iranian conflict in the region.

On the level of the American forces, Amber believes that both candidates view this file roughly the same way, as they “believe that any complete withdrawal of the American army from the country is not possible at this time for several considerations.”

Al-Ambar added that the US withdrawal file is linked to the other files related to Iraq, as it may weaken the war waged by the international coalition against ISIS, and thus increase the possibility of losing the momentum of the victories achieved against the terrorist organization in Iraq and the region.

There are about three thousand American soldiers in Iraq, and discussions are currently taking place between Baghdad and Washington in order to organize this presence in the future.

On the other hand, the political science professor believes that “Biden will be completely different from Trump in this regard, as he prefers diplomatic options in order to deal with Iran, and may also press toward his old project of transforming Iraq into three federal regions.”

The Finance Minister praises the “white paper” and talks about alternatives

Editing date: 10/16/2020 8:49

Ayna News_Baghdad

The Iraqi Finance Minister said that there is a growing political will to make the radical reforms required for the country to address the massive liquidity crisis that has pushed Iraq to the brink of collapse.

Finance Minister Ali Allawi told the Associated Press in an interview, “There is more will now than there was five months ago. Now, I think there is recognition that unless oil prices rise miraculously, this is something we have to deal with and manage.”

Lower oil prices have cut revenues in the oil-exporting country by nearly half, and over-reliance on oil has limited the government’s ability to obtain other income.

The widening of the deficit from month to month has created uncertainty about how future payments of public wages, external debt and essential imports of food and medicine will be paid.

It is worth noting that the unsustainable Iraqi economy, exposed by the financial pressures stimulated by plummeting oil prices and the Corona virus epidemic, is a long-term problem that has bothered reformers for more than a decade.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi’s government this week released the 95-page “white paper” of economic reform, which, if implemented, would prompt a radical reform of the entire system within three to five years.

“It is a paper designed to create a strategic and political framework for a new Iraqi economy,” Allawi said. “At the end of this period of change and reform … we are supposed to have a restructured and more dynamic economy, this is the goal of it.”

A lack of support from key political elites has undermined similar efforts in the past. Al-Kazemi’s government continues to rely on parliament approval for the vision to gain momentum.

“There is less denial. First of all, denial,” Allawi said.

Senior officials in the Al-Kazemi government, including Allawi, have repeatedly stated that while oil prices are not expected to recover in the short term, only reforms will help Iraq avoid an economic disaster. The future of the project faces a big test: Parliament’s approval in the form of a binding decision or legislation.

“Once this is done, we have to roll up our sleeves and start work,” the minister added.

Allawi said that at a later time, aspects of the plan outlined in the paper will be incorporated into the 2021 budget, which will require a vote in Parliament. Government support in the electricity and oil sectors will face special scrutiny.

“Part of the public sector finance problem is the huge amount of subsidies, and we intend to address this issue directly in the 2021 budget,” the minister explained.

But the public debate focused on the white paper that aims to reduce public wages from 25 percent of GDP to 12 percent.

Lowering public sector wages, especially in an election year, is widely seen as an unpopular move.

Nevertheless, Allawi was firm when he said, “I have said many times before, that the share of oil revenues allocated to salaries in 2004 was 20 percent, and now it is 120 percent.”

“This is clearly not sustainable,” he stressed.

In September, Iraq achieved $ 3.16 billion in oil exports, accounting for 90 percent of state revenues, less than half of the $ 7 billion needed to pay salaries, pensions, imports, and debt.

September salaries were delayed and the payment of October wages depends to a large extent on internal government borrowing.

A previous bill authorizing $ 12 billion in internal borrowing has been exhausted. A new bill requesting $ 35 billion faces a vote in Parliament.

“I hope Parliament will approve it. If this does not happen, we have the possibility of other alternatives, but it will be more difficult,” Allawi said of the bill.

Iraq’s hard currency reserves amount to $ 53 billion

Representative economics: The white paper includes the conditions of the World Bank that affect the citizen’s life

Editing date: 10/16/2020 12:51

Where’s News _ Baghdad

A member of the Parliamentary Economic Committee, Mazen Al-Faili, confirmed, on Friday, that the white paper for reforms includes the conditions of the World Bank, while he referred to borrowing as a bitter option, but it is a must.

Al-Faili said, “The reform white paper prepared by the Council of Ministers reached the House of Representatives for the purpose of detailed discussion,” explaining that it “contains the conditions of the World Bank, and these conditions are excessively strict, and affect the life of the citizen who must not bear the mistakes of previous governments.” .

He added that “the reform materials in the white paper are implemented over a period of three years to reform the financial and economic situation in the country, as Iraq is currently suffering from a lack of financial returns with a delay in the process of disbursing employees’ salaries,” noting that “the paper includes reform points that will be implemented in the long term, and reform materials.” Others should be applied in the licensing rounds, and the oil agreement with OPEC, given that the global economic situation has changed from the previous one.

He pointed out, “Borrowing is a bitter option, but it is imperative, and we must review taxes, levies, and expenditures, and search for new doors to increase revenues so that the citizen and employee are not affected.”

A source reveals the date of Al-Kazemi’s visit to Paris, and this is what he will ask for

Editing date: 10/16/2020 14:25

Baghdad: Where is News} An informed source revealed the date of the visit of the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, to the French capital, Paris.

“Al-Kazemi will go to Paris at the beginning of next week in response to an official invitation during which he will meet French President Emmanuel Maron at the Elysee Palace,” the source said.

The source added, “Al-Kazemi and Macron’s talks will focus on developing bilateral relations between the two countries and increasing joint cooperation in various fields, including security and military, in addition to discussing developments in the region.”

The source added, “Al-Kazemi will visit London, the British capital, after Paris.”

And Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said last month that “among the topics discussed in the prime minister’s visit to France is the submission of an Iraqi request to purchase French weapons, according to the needs of the Iraqi army.”

On September 2, French President Emmanuel Macron visited the capital, Baghdad, where he met the three presidencies and met with the President of the Kurdistan region, Nechirvan Barzani, in Baghdad.

Britain urges Erbil and Baghdad to speed up the implementation of the Sinjar agreement and drive out the militants





The Sinjar Agreement

2020-10-16 06:47

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Shafaq News / On Friday, the British ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, urged the Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal government to speed up the implementation of the agreement concluded between them in order to normalize the situation in Sinjar district.

Hickey said in a statement to reporters during his visit to the judiciary today, “Britain welcomes the Sinjar agreement and hopes that the regional government and the Iraqi government will work together with the United Nations to restore security and stability to the judiciary, and we support and encourage them to do so.”

And he added, “We want the Yazidis in Sinjar to feel reassured, and to speed up the implementation of the provisions that were mentioned in the agreement, including the withdrawal of the armed groups currently present in the district.”

On Friday (October 9), Baghdad and Erbil reached an agreement to normalize the situation in Sinjar, which provides for the administration of the judiciary in terms of administrative, security and service jointly .

ISIS invaded Sinjar district in 2014 and committed a massacre against its residents, before the Peshmerga forces regained it the following year .

However, the Iraqi army backed by the Popular Mobilization Forces invaded the region due to the tension between the region and the federal government against the backdrop of the independence referendum in 2017 .

The Iraqi authorities installed new officials in the district in place of the elected officials who withdrew from the area to Dohuk Governorate when the Iraqi forces advanced .

There are currently two local governments for Sinjar, one of which was appointed by the federal government authorities, and the second is the elected government, which conducts its business from Dohuk Governorate .

The anti-Ankara PKK also formed a faction loyal to it there, called the “Sinjar Protection Units” and receives salaries from the Iraqi government as a faction under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilization Forces .

The Kurdish workers reject repeated calls from the Kurdistan Region to leave the region that is under Turkish attacks from time to time, which impedes the return of tens of thousands of displaced Yazidis to their homes .

And the new agreement will address the issue of duplication of administration, and Al-Kazemi stressed Baghdad’s keenness on Sinjar being free of armed groups, whether internal or from outside the country, in reference to the PKK.

Parliament blames a quarrel among its members for not passing constituencies




Election law



2020-10-16 06:44

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Shafaq News / On Friday, the Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Bashir Khalil Al-Haddad, expressed his regret over the spasm and escalation that occurred among some MPs in the session last Wednesday, indicating that this escalation prevented the completion of “electoral districts . ”

A parliamentary source told Shafaq News (14 October 2020) that a quarrel had occurred inside the Chamber of Representatives between representatives of the Shiite political forces and Kurdish forces due to Hoshyar Zebari’s recent statements about the popular crowd .

A statement issued by the Media Office of the Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, received by Shafaq News, stated that Al-Haddad feels sorry for the escalation among a number of deputies “on a topic that can be resolved with calm and fraternal understanding,” indicating that “while we were waiting for the completion of discussions and interventions. Honorable representatives, he presented the parliamentary blocs’ proposals on the issue of electoral districts in the upcoming Iraqi parliament election law, but what happened prevented the continuation of discussions and the completion of the session .

The statement quoted the deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament, as saying: “We need in this difficult stage to strengthen national cohesion and direct efforts to calm the situation, and the media escalation will not serve the political process .”

Al-Haddad called on everyone, whether inside or outside the parliament, to move away from statements, statements and interventions that divide, do not gather, disperse or unite, and we must not forget that we are partners in this country, and the Iraqi forces from the army, the police, the Popular Mobilization and the Peshmerga have mixed their blood in the trench defending the land and holy sites, And that the liberation battles witnessed the strength and courage of all components of our people. ”