Pope Francis reveals the date of his historic visit to Iraq



Pope Francis


2021-02-01 14:49

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Shafaq News / On Monday, Pope Francis said that he intends to visit Iraq next month, even if this means that many Iraqi Christians will not be able to see him in person due to the restrictions of Covid-19.

“I care for people who are suffering,” he told the Catholic New Service agency of the American Bishops’ Conference. He added that it is important “for them to see that the Pope is visiting their country,” even if most of them will only see him on television for reasons of social distancing.

The 84-year-old Pope intends to go ahead and make the scheduled visit between the fifth and eighth of March, unless there is a serious wave of cases of coronavirus infection there.

The Patriarch of the Iraqi Chaldean Catholic Church said, last week, that the Pope will meet during the visit with the supreme authority of the Iraqi Shiites, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

The visit, which eluded the ancestors of Pope Francis, will take place amid deteriorating security in some areas of Iraq, and after the first major suicide bombing in Baghdad three years ago.

Iraq has been home to centuries-old Christian communities. Hundreds of thousands of Christians fled during the sectarian violence that followed Saddam’s fall, or were driven from their homes after ISIS seized large parts of the north of the country in 2014.



The US Treasury reduces its borrowing estimates for the first quarter due to the increase in the cash balance

Economie | 11:39 – 01/02/2021

Follow-up – Mawazine News

The US Treasury Department said on Monday that it plans to borrow $ 274 billion in the first quarter, which is much lower than November’s estimate of $ 1.127 trillion, with the decrease due to the high cash balance of the ministry at the beginning of January.

The Treasury said in a statement that first-quarter estimates assume a cash balance at the end of March of $ 800 billion.

The Treasury also said it issued $ 597 billion in net debt in the fourth quarter, ending the three-month period with a cash balance of $ 1.729 trillion.


Plasschaert announces details of her visit to Tehran

the world | 10:27 – 01/02/2021

Follow-up – Mawazine News

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Jenin Hennis Blasshardt, announced today, Monday, the details of her visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran, noting that it is part of efforts to support stability in Iraq.

In a statement received by Mawazine News, the UN envoy’s office said, “Blashart visited Tehran on January 31 and February 1, and held talks with Iranian officials on regional issues, as part of the efforts made to support stability in Iraq.”

He pointed out that “the Special Representative has visited a number of countries in the region, including Iran, before, and these visits come in support of the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) under Security Council Resolution No. 2522 (2020), which includes facilitating regional dialogue and cooperation.” , Including on issues of border security, energy, trade, environment, water, infrastructure, public health and refugees. ”Ended 29


Al-Halbousi and Talabani stress the necessity of resolving the controversial issues in accordance with the constitution


Mohammed Al-Halbousi

Qubad Talabani

2021-02-01 13:31

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Shafaq News / The Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Muhammad al-Halbousi and Vice President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Qubad Talabani stressed the need to resolve the disputed issues between Baghdad and Erbil in accordance with the constitution.

Al-Halbousi’s office said in a statement received by Shafaq News that the latter had received a Kurdistan Region delegation headed by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Regional Government, Qubad Talabani.

The statement indicated that during the meeting, developments in the political, economic and security situation in the country were discussed, as well as the subject of the federal budget for the fiscal year 2021.

The meeting stressed the importance of continuing the dialogue between the center and the region and resolving controversial issues in accordance with the constitution, according to the statement.

The regional government delegation arrived on January 25, 2021, to Baghdad and included Minister of Finance Awat Sheikh Janab, Minister of Planning Dara Rashid, Minister of the Region Khaled Shawani, and Chief of the Cabinet of the Provincial Council, Omid Sabah, to join the delegation the next day, Vice President Regional government Qubad Talabani, head of the delegation.

It is scheduled to return to the negotiating delegation to Baghdad next week to resume talks with the federal government.

These discussions come to ensure that the various parties agree to the provisions of the draft budget related to the Kurdistan Region before submitting it to a vote in Parliament. As political blocs seek to make adjustments to the budget items related to the region’s share, so that they mortgage their spending on handing over the entire oil management file to the federal government.


Al-Kazemi calls on the “Cooperation Council” to follow up on the pledges of the Kuwait Conference for the reconstruction of Iraq


February 1, 2021

08:20 PM

Today, Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi called on the Gulf Cooperation Council to follow up on the pledges of the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq and to support investment aid between the two sides.

A government statement quoted Al-Kazemi as saying during his meeting with the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Nayef Al-Hajraf, “The file of investments and donor pledges in Kuwait will have an impact on achieving economic, social and security stability in Iraq, which will be reflected on the security of the region in general.”

He expressed Iraq’s keenness to strengthen its relations with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council «and to achieve integration with brothers in the GCC countries in various political, cultural, economic and commercial fields».

For his part, Al-Hajraf affirmed, according to the statement, the GCC’s support for Iraq in achieving its security, stability and sovereignty, which was embodied in the (Al-Ula) declaration issued by the recent GCC summit, stressing that the GCC states commend Iraq’s “successful” experience in combating terrorism.

Al-Hajraf explained that the electrical connection file has reached advanced stages and that the GCC states are serious about continuing to hold bilateral meetings in order to move it forward.

Al-Hajraf arrived in Iraq today on an official visit, in which he met with Iraqi President Barham Salih and Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.


Parliamentary Finance: settling contracts, transfers, and the region’s share in the next two days

Political | 08:13 – 01/02/2021

Baghdad – Mawazine News

The Parliamentary Finance Committee confirmed, on Monday, that during the next two days, the issue of contracts, transfers and the share of the Kurdistan region will be resolved.

The committee’s rapporteur, Ahmed Al-Saffar, stated that “during the next two days, the deferred issues will be resolved in the draft federal budget bill.”

He added that “the issue of contracts, transfers and the budget of the Kurdistan region will be resolved,” noting that “there are some positive steps related to these issues, but it cannot be stated accurately now.”

Al-Saffar pointed out that “the Parliamentary Finance Committee completed the discussion of the articles in the draft budget law, and began discussing the additional materials,” noting that “this was done during more than 37 sessions that included more than 150 hosting.”


A Kurdish deputy reveals “decisive” understandings between Baghdad and Erbil



Financial budget

2021-02-01 10:00

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Shafaq News / A Kurdish deputy in the Iraqi parliament revealed, on Monday, the existence of “decisive” and “advanced” understandings about the share of the Kurdistan Region in the federal financial budget for the current year, considering it as a key to solving all outstanding problems between Baghdad and Erbil. 

A delegation from the Kurdistan Region, headed by the Vice President of the Regional Government, Qubad Talabani, visited Baghdad last week and met with a number of officials and heads of parliamentary blocs and the Parliamentary Finance Committee to discuss the draft federal budget bill for the year 2012 and confirm the region’s share in it.

Bashar al-Kiki, a deputy for the Kurdistan Democrat, told Shafaq News that “the understandings and agreements regarding the region’s share in the 2021 budget are present and have been included in the budget law within Articles 10 and 11.”

He explained that the region “took great and decisive steps, and provided all the necessary data and belongings to the Parliamentary Finance Committee, which includes oil and non-oil imports.”

Al-Kiki stressed that “the region’s share in the 2021 budget is 12.67 percent,” noting that “the positive and serious atmosphere between the governments of the center and the region is to settle the share of Kurdistan and prevent the recurrence of the marginalization of the Kurds in the fiscal deficit law that was approved by the Iraqi parliament several months ago.”

And he considered that “the understandings and agreements of the center and the region regarding the current year budget, is a political understanding under a legal cover and a basic solution to all the problems and pending files between the two parties.” 

The region’s share was included in the budget according to an agreement with Baghdad that stipulates a share of about 12.6 percent of the budget, along with the payment of salaries of the Peshmerga, in exchange for handing over the region’s revenues from selling 250 thousand barrels per day of oil extracted from the fields of the region.

The Kurdistan Region has been suffering from a stifling financial crisis, as Baghdad has cut the salaries of the region’s employees since last April.


Saeron reveals the details of the Erbil delegation’s negotiations: a move to pass the budget by a majority

Political | 06:22 – 01/02/2021

BAGHDAD – Mawazine News

, the MP for the Alliance of the Walkers, Riyadh Al-Masoudi revealed, on Monday, that there is a representative tendency to approve the budget according to the political majority, indicating that 21 Kurdish deputies will pass the budget without an agreement with Erbil.

Al-Masoudi said in a televised interview, “The Kurdish forces were divided and are no longer represented by the traditional parties, as the number of the Kurdistan Amal Bloc reached 21 deputies, a number sufficient to pass the budget by the majority and in accordance with the supreme interests of the country without turning to narrow interests.”

He added, “The budget needs 166 to be passed, and this figure is present from all national political forces, and it cannot be a prisoner of negotiations that have not achieved any results, as the Kurdish delegation has not proposed any new things.”

He explained that “the paragraphs on the region oblige Kurdistan to deliver 450 thousand barrels of oil to Baghdad, while Erbil delivers oil to investment companies to sell them separately from Baghdad, as well as managing border crossings.”


The Presidents of the Republic and the House of Representatives discuss the upcoming elections and the financial budget

Political | 05:19 – 02/01/2021

Baghdad – Mawazine News

President Barham Salih and the House of Representatives, Muhammad al-Halbousi, discussed on Monday the elections and the general budget files.

A statement by Al-Halbousi’s office, of which Mawazine News received a copy, stated that “Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi met today, President Barham Salih, at the Peace Palace in Baghdad.”

The statement added, “During the meeting, political, security and economic developments in the country were discussed, where the importance of strengthening security efforts and taking measures to put pressure on terrorist cells, blocking the way to attempts to destabilize the security and stability of citizens, and supporting the security and intelligence services in achieving this was emphasized.” .

The statement added, “The meeting also touched on the upcoming elections, where the ongoing preparations for organizing the polls were discussed, with an emphasis on the importance of providing the highest levels of integrity and transparency in the various stages of the electoral process, away from fraud and manipulation.”

He pointed out, “discussing the economic and health conditions facing the country, and the importance of taking adequate measures to face economic challenges, approving the budget based on not involving citizens’ sustenance in political issues, supporting the poor and ensuring the rights of all citizens.”


Kurdistan Democrat: The Kurdish delegation will discuss the oil agreement with the heads of political blocs

Kurdistan Region



2021-02-01 06:51

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Shafaq News / The Kurdistan Democratic Party Parliamentary Bloc revealed, on Monday, a tour that the Kurdish delegation will conduct, headed by Qubad Talabani, while it is in Baghdad, and talks with the heads of political blocs on the oil agreement between Baghdad and Erbil.

The representative of the block, Diyar Barwari, told Shafaq News, “The Parliamentary Finance Committee hosted the Kurdish delegation more than three times, and it had a clear vision and information about the dues of the Kurdistan Region and the obligations between the governments of Baghdad and Erbil.”

And that “the Kurdish delegation will conduct a tour today while it is in Baghdad and will meet with leaders and heads of political parties and blocs to clarify the details of the oil agreement and commitments between Baghdad and Erbil before the parliament session convenes to vote on the general budget law.”

Yesterday, Sunday, a Kurdish delegation headed by the Vice President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Qubad Talabani, arrived in the capital, Baghdad, to discuss the outstanding issues between Baghdad and Erbil, most notably the oil agreement and the region’s share in the 2021 budget.