Tripartite summit and strategic dialogue … two deputies comment on the “ two most prominent events ” that Iraq will witness in the coming days

597 Policy 2021/03/24 13:38

Baghdad today – Baghdad

A member of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee, Amer Al-Fayez, commented on Wednesday (March 24, 2021) that there are no representatives of the committee in the strategic dialogue between Baghdad and Washington.

Al-Fayez said in an interview with (Baghdad Today), “The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs bears responsibility for the absence of representatives of the Foreign Relations Committee in the new session of the strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States of America.”

He added, “The representation of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee in the dialogue should not be present,” noting that “the parliament must be informed of the contents of the dialogue and the agreements that are concluded during the strategic dialogue.”

Al-Fayez added, “There is no objection to the presence of trainers for the international coalition in Iraq, but the objection is the presence of American forces, and the government may not keep those forces because it will violate the parliament’s decision to remove them from the country, and it is obligated to implement it.”

And on the openness of Iraq to the Arab countries, Al-Fayez explained that “this openness to the Arab incubator is due to several immunity to the country, and the meetings to be held by Baghdad, Amman and Cairo, come to strengthen economic cooperation in all fields.”

It is expected that a tripartite summit will be held next Saturday, attended by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on the Egyptian side, and on the Jordanian side, King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein, while Iraq will be represented by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi.

Yesterday, Tuesday, the United States announced the launch of a new round of dialogue between Baghdad and Washington, to ensure that ISIS will not return in April.

In turn, a member of the Parliamentary Security and Defense Committee, Katie Al-Rikabi, said today, Wednesday, that “the anticipated strategic dialogue between Baghdad and Washington was not different from the previous dialogues, as these dialogues will not result in anything new, and this dialogue is an attempt to sustain relations between the two countries.”

Al-Rikabi explained in an interview with (Baghdad Today), that “many agreements have been concluded between Baghdad and Washington since the signing of the Strategic Framework Agreement and until now, nothing has been implemented at the level of infrastructure, energy, industry and other fields. Nothing of these agreements has been implemented on the ground.” Indeed”.

He added that “the important thing that the forthcoming strategic dialogue between Baghdad and Washington should focus on is the issue of removing the American forces. The Iraqi negotiating delegation and the whole Iraqi government are obligated to implement the parliament’s decision to remove all foreign forces, especially the American forces.”


Parliamentary Finance resolves the controversy: There is no request to reduce the exchange rate


Baghdad / Al-Mawred News

The Parliamentary Finance Committee confirmed, today, Wednesday, that there is no representative request for the Central Bank to reduce the exchange rate, while it indicated that Article 11 of the Kurdistan region is still delaying the conclusion of the budget law.

Committee member Muhammad al-Shabaki said, in an interview carried by the Iraqi News Agency, “Article 11 related to the oil agreement, the region’s dues and settling accounts from 2004 to 2020 is still the obstacle to which negotiations between the parties to resolve the Maronite law have stalled because of it.

He added, “The political blocs intervened to give a week for deliberation between leaders in the region to come out with a clear position on Article 11 and the region’s commitment to pay dues to the federal government and the latter’s commitment to the region’s dues.”

He noted that ”

He pointed out that “there is no request to the House of Representatives and to address the Central Bank to reduce the exchange rate, but there are several parliamentary claims to reduce it.”

Al-Halbousi discusses with Tueller the importance of the strategic dialogue between Washington and Baghdad




Al Halbousi

The US ambassador

Strategic dialogue

2021-03-24 15:09



A +

Shafaq News / The Iraqi Parliament Speaker, Muhammad al-Halbousi discussed with the US ambassador to Baghdad, Matthew Toller, the importance of strategic dialogue between the two countries.

On Tuesday, the White House said that the United States and Iraq will hold a strategic dialogue next April, which will focus on the role of the international coalition to prevent the return of ISIS.

Iraq hopes that the strategic dialogue will pave the way for the complete withdrawal of the remaining approximately 2,500 American soldiers from the country.

According to a statement received by Shafaq News, Al-Halbousi and Toller discussed, during the meeting, “bilateral relations and strengthening the continuation of security cooperation between Iraq and the United States to combat terrorism.”

The meeting discussed, according to the statement, “ways to enhance accountability for crimes committed by the terrorist ISIS, which allow ISIS members to be tried before Iraqi courts for their crimes that amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and support for the international investigation team (UNITAD). Charged with gathering evidence for those crimes. ”

The two sides also touched on “the importance of the strategic dialogue, which will be launched in the coming days between the two countries, as well as a number of issues of common interest.”

For his part, the American ambassador affirmed “the continued support of the United States of America to Iraq as it achieves development and stability.”

After Washington announced the date of its launch, there are four axes on the strategic dialogue table between Iraq and America

867 Policy 2021/03/24 09:42 ha

Baghdad Today- Follow-up

The website of the American Chamber of Commerce revealed, on Wednesday (March 24, 2021), the most prominent things to be discussed by Baghdad and Washington in the round of the strategic dialogue, which is scheduled to be held next April.

The site said, quoting the American-Iraqi Trade Council: “While the two parties prepare to resume their strategic dialogue in April within the framework of the future of the US-Iraqi relationship, the council recommends focusing on a number of main axes interspersed with economic and commercial opportunities, as well as keeping the file of security and political issues at the forefront of the President’s administration’s concerns The new American Joe Biden towards Iraq. ”

He added, “President Biden spoke last February with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazimi, assuring him of the United States’ support for the sovereignty and independence of Iraq, while also highlighting the importance of moving forward with the US-Iraqi strategic dialogue and expanding the scope of joint cooperation between the two countries.”

And the Council continued, according to the American website, that “the consequences of the Corona epidemic that affected the whole world had a great impact on Iraq, which increased the difficulty of its economic situation and the impact of this on its budget, which increases the importance of joint action between the United States and Iraq to support the Iraqi economic reform agenda as a tool The head of this strategy. ”

The Iraqi-American Council promised, “The private sector is a stabilizing factor for Iraq, and its strength must be strengthened to the fullest extent through cooperation with partners in the Iraqi government and the growth of the bilateral trade relationship as well as improving the livelihood opportunities for Iraqi citizens.”

The American site stated, “The Iraqi American Trade Council has a long history of working with the US government, the private sector and investors in Iraq, and we remain committed to continuing to work with our partners for the important goal of comprehensive economic growth through structural reforms, investment and renewal of our commitment to this valuable endeavor.”

The Trade Council recommended that the US administration take into consideration four main axes to strengthen the US-Iraqi strategic partnership and move it forward, which include the health aspect and the participation of the private sector in it, as well as enabling Iraq to rely on itself in the manufacture of gas and the development of infrastructure for this sector, and support reforms of the financial sector of Iraq And last but not least, encouraging the development of special economic zones to mobilize investment and create job opportunities in the country.

The American Chamber of Commerce website indicated, “With regard to the health aspect amid the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, the American-Iraqi Trade Council calls for strengthening the pledges made by the United States with Iraq through the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2020 between the US ambassador to Iraq, Matthew Toller, and the Director General of Health. General in the Ministry of Health, Riyadh Al-Halfi, to bring and supply medicines and medical equipment for health institutions in Iraq. The memo stated that a joint committee composed of the governments of the two countries holds a quarterly meeting every six months to follow up on the achievements in this field.

He continued, “Under the umbrella of the US-Iraqi strategic dialogue, the council recommends establishing an American-Iraqi dialogue in the field of health in order to create a forum through which post-Corona epidemic issues are resolved.”

In its recommendations, the council referred to “the necessity of engaging the private sector in the field of dialogue on health issues and any working groups that are interested in this topic. This can be achieved through a high-level working group consisting of representatives of the two governments in the field of industry and the medical sector and professional institutions that define and set the priorities of the health sector.”

And he continued: “As for the axis of gas manufacturing, developing its industry and ending its burning in the air, the development of this sector in Iraq would help in strengthening the movement of the country’s projects and many industrial sectors in it, which in turn create new job opportunities and maintain the pace of economic growth.”

The Council recommended that “the Biden administration invite a special meeting of the joint Iraqi-American Energy Coordination Committee, which was recently reconfigured in order to set its priorities in assisting Iraq to achieve its goal of ending associated gas waste and combustion and becoming an independent country in the field of energy and its production, taking into consideration the inclusion of The private sector as a factor in achieving this goal. ”

And through the Joint Energy Committee, the Council recommends that “the Biden administration encourages officials in the central government of Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government to work together to improve the development of the gas industry in the country, which will lead to the supply of sustainable electrical energy in all parts of Iraq.”

As for the third axis related to supporting the reforms of the financial sector in Iraq, it is “important to enhance American investment in Iraq and the contribution of the private sector in it, and that encouraging banking sector reform will have a positive impact across the country’s economy in general, and while government banks are important for the development of Iraq, it is the duty of private banks.” It also plays an important role in creating credit and receiving deposits, especially for individuals and small businesses. ”

Within the strategic dialogue, the American-Iraqi Trade Council recommended that “the US Treasury Department, in coordination with the Iraqi Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Iraq, launch a banking reform work group with the private sector also involved. Financial sector reforms proposed in the white paper will be tendered during the meeting that will take place in April through a virtual circuit.” “Between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, with the Iraqi American Trade Council, the Ministry of Commerce, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq and the Minister of Finance, as well as the participation of senior American banks and financial institutions companies.”

As for the fourth axis related to encouraging the development of special economic zones and creating job opportunities in the country, it is necessary for the United States and Iraq to have a bilateral investment agreement that facilitates the realization of commercial investment for American companies in Iraq.

The American-Iraqi Council pointed out that “while Prime Minister Al-Kazimi considered economic reform as a priority and expects its results in the long term, it is very vital to try to achieve progress in the short and medium term in order to involve American companies in the economic development opportunities in Iraq for the sake of To achieve this, the establishment of special economic zones in Iraq will help create more opportunities for American investment in the country and help diversify the participation of the private sector in Iraq. ”

He continued, “Areas such as Basra and Kirkuk will be among the areas that deserve to be nominated to launch the special economic zones model in Iraq, in order to accelerate the process of economic development and encourage broader reforms by achieving early success stories in partnership with the American private sector.”

The Council recommended that this issue be raised during the strategic dialogue meeting between the United States and Iraq, with the participation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, in order to increase the rate of American investment in Iraq.

Fitch Ratings revises outlook on Iraq to stable from negative

Ratings agency forecasts budget deficit will narrow to 5% of GDP this year, from 16.5% last year

Fareed Rahman

March 24, 2021

Fitch Ratings has revised its outlook on Iraq’s sovereign debt to stable from negative while maintaining its B- credit rating.

The agency cited higher oil prices and a smaller than expected decline in foreign reserves following the recent devaluation of the Iraqi dinar.

“We forecast a budget deficit equal to about 5 per cent of gross domestic product in 2021, shrinking from an estimated 16.5 per cent of GDP in 2020,” the ratings agency said on Wednesday. “In 2022, we forecast a similar deficit, as higher oil exports offset an oil price decline, while spending increases only marginally after strong growth in 2021.”

Iraq, Opec’s second-largest producer, depends on oil revenue to meet 90 per cent of government expenditure. Oil export revenue is expected to grow by 75 per cent in 2021, on the back of higher prices and increases in crude exports as Opec+ eases production cuts on the back of strengthening demand.

Fitch expects average oil production in 2022 to grow to 4.4 million barrels per day, from 4.1 million bpd in 2021, and federal oil exports to reach 3.3 million bpd, from 3 million bpd in 2021.

“Iraq’s budget revenue sensitivity to oil price and volume is significant. A $5 per barrel increase in the oil price leads to a 3 per cent of GDP rise in government revenue, and 250,000 barrels per day of exports equate to 3 per cent of GDP.”

Oil prices are currently trending higher as Opec and its allies, including Russia, implement production cuts to balance oil markets.

Iraq devalued its currency by about 23 per cent against the US dollar in December to support its economy.

International reserves remain substantial, at $54 billion, despite declining by $14bn in 2020. The ratings agency forecasts reserves should stabilise in 2021 as stronger oil prices and the devaluation narrow its current account deficit to 1.5 per cent of GDP from 12.5 per cent of GDP in 2020.

Non-oil revenue is also forecast to increase, on the back of “progressive pay roll tax reform, a 10 per cent flat tax on pensions and new excise and sales tax on alcohol, tobacco and vehicle sales”.

Spending, however, is expected to hike 28 per cent to 113 trillion dinars ($77.4bn) in 2021 as salary and pension bills increase due to commitments made by the previous government, it said.

A “failure to curb government spending would raise the risk of further devaluation of the currency over time or erosion of foreign reserves, depending on the course of oil prices”, the agency said.

Published: March 24, 2021 05:54 PM

Zidane and the US ambassador discuss the exchange of extradition

2021/03/24 12:52

The number of readings 30

Section : Iraq

Baghdad / Al-Masalla: The President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zidan, received, on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Iraq, Matthew Toller.

In a statement received by Al-Masalla, the judicial media said that the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Faik Zaidan, had received the Ambassador of the United States of America to Iraq, Matthew Toller.

He added that the two sides discussed judicial cooperation between the two countries regarding the exchange of extradition to the judiciary and support for the international investigation team “UNITAD” tasked with collecting evidence of crimes committed by ISIS terrorist gangs.


Legal expert: Parliament legislation is not binding on the central bank



Baghdad / Al-Mawred News

The legal expert, Tariq Harb, confirmed today, Wednesday, that the constitution stipulated that the Central Bank of Iraq would not be subject to parliamentary oversight, and freed it from any commitment or legislation made by the latter regarding the exchange rate.

Harb said in a statement, “The only independent body among the independent bodies that the constitution has granted privileges that exceed those of other independent bodies mentioned in the constitution in the chapter on independent bodies, namely Articles 102 and 103 of the constitution. The constitution did not make the central bank’s association with the House of Representatives. The Office of Financial Supervision and the Media and Communications Commission are linked to the House of Representatives, and the constitution has made the endowment offices link to the Council of Ministers.

He added, “The constitution did not make the Central Bank subject to the oversight of the House of Representatives, as it did with the Human Rights Commission and the Independent High Commission for the elections, which the constitution decided to be subject to oversight by the House of Representatives.”

He stressed that “the independence of the Central Bank of Law No. 76 of 2004 issued by (Bremer) during the period of his rule is still in effect, and these constitutional and legal provisions have their place when discussing the exchange rate of the dollar that he set, and issuing laws, especially the draft 2021 budget law that is discussed in the House of Representatives. Currently”.

Parliamentary Finance: The World Bank did not object to the reduction of the dollar

12:18 – 24/03/2021


The information / Baghdad ..

The Parliamentary Finance Committee expected, on Wednesday, to agree to reduce the price of the dollar to 130 within the budget, indicating that the World Bank did not express any objection to reducing the price, unlike the Ministry of Finance, which is determined to harm the citizen.

“The market and the financial situation of Iraq bear a change in the exchange rate, contrary to what the Ministry of Finance claims, and it is possible to change the exchange rate in consultation with the Central Bank,” said a member of the committee, Abdul Hadi Al-Saadawi, in a statement to “the information”.

Al-Saadawi added, “The fair price for a dollar is 1300 dinars to one dollar, which is commensurate with the current circumstance. There are no forms for the World Bank at a price of 130 and insistence only from the Ministry of Finance.”

He explained, “The price change did not achieve any economic achievement. Rather, it increased poverty rates, harmed the middle class, and raised prices by more than 25%, especially basic commodities.”

The Kurdish delegation will return to Baghdad soon, amid parliamentary optimism

12:33 – 24/03/2021


The information / Baghdad…

The MP for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Sherwan Mirza, revealed, on Wednesday, that the Kurdish government delegation will soon return to Baghdad to put the final touches on the agreement between Baghdad and Erbil .

Mirza said in a statement to “the information” that “the delegation will return soon to Baghdad in order to finalize the oil agreement between Baghdad and Erbil .”

He added, “The delegation reached good understandings during the previous negotiations and is awaiting the legal drafting of the budget materials and their approval by the Kurdish delegation.”

He explained that “the negotiations will take place in the midst of new flexibility on the part of the political forces in Baghdad.”