IMF Staff Concludes Virtual Visit to Iraq

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

December 3, 2021End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board.

  • The economy is recovering from last year’s sharp contraction, helped by higher oil prices and easing of the containment measures. 
  • Non-oil real GDP is expected to rebound by 12 percent in 2021 while the fiscal and current account balances are expected to improve significantly. 
  • Higher oil revenues present the opportunity to tackle Iraq’s significant vulnerabilities, strengthen resilience, and achieve durable and more inclusive growth. The IMF stands ready to support Iraq toward these ends. 

Washington, DC: A staff team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Tokhir Mirzoev held a virtual mission with the Iraqi authorities during November 28 – December 2 to discuss recent economic developments and outlook as well as policy priorities in the period ahead.

At the end of the mission, Mr. Mirzoev issued the following statement:

“The Iraqi economy is recovering from last year’s sharp contraction, helped by the increase in oil revenues and easing of the COVID-19 containment measures. In recent weeks, new COVID-19 infections have declined significantly, and the vaccination rate has been gradually improving. Real non-oil GDP is expected to expand by 12 percent in 2021 and oil output is projected to gradually increase in line with the OPEC+ agreements. Inflation has reached 7.2 percent in September and is projected to ease in the coming months. The fiscal and external current account balances are expected to improve significantly in 2021 from double-digit deficits in 2020, mainly due to higher oil prices. The recovery is expected to continue in the medium term albeit subject to considerable downside risks, most notably related to the oil market volatility and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Higher oil revenues present an important opportunity to tackle Iraq’s significant underlying vulnerabilities, strengthen resilience to future climate and other challenges, and advance key socio-economic priorities. Achieving these goals will require strengthening public finances, while creating the fiscal space for much-needed investment and social safety nets and promoting private sector development. To this end, key priorities include a civil service reform aimed at increasing public sector’s efficiency and containing the wage bill, reducing inefficient energy subsidies, diversifying fiscal revenues, stemming losses in the electricity sector, strengthening governance. Improving the coverage and targeting of social assistance will help better protect the most vulnerable. And restructuring large state-owned banks and strengthening their governance will be critical to revitalizing the financial sector and ensuring private sector’s access to finance. The IMF stands ready to support Iraq in these endeavors.

“The IMF staff team would like to thank the authorities for candid and productive discussions during this mission.”

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https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2021/12/03/pr21357-iraq-imf-staff-concludes-virtual-staff-visit

For the first time since the Abbasid era… Will Iraq witness a majority government free of interference?

Reports & AnalyticsIraqi governmentBritish report 2021-12-03 14:26A-AA+

Shafaq News/ The British “Middle East Monitor” website concluded in a report that the last time Iraq was free of external interference was during the Abbasid era, indicating that if the majority government was formed “neither Western nor Eastern”, it would be the first in Iraq’s history Contemporary as “independent”.

And after the British report, translated by Shafak News Agency, pointed out that Iraqi patriots naturally demand that their country be free of foreign interference, which was expressed about the increasing political influence of Iran, as well as through perceptions of Iraq as a client state of the United States, he added that Iraq Since its recent history as a state, it has not really been an independent state.

The report indicated that it is possible to go back in history to pre-modern history, specifically to the Abbasid Caliphate (750 AD – 1258 AD) in the region that represents Iraq today and which was truly independent.

Despite this, the report pointed out that the Abbasid rulers were eventually marginalized and turned into a mere symbolic force in name only, with the real authority ceded to the dominant princes and ministers from the Persians and Seljuk Turks, as a result of the destabilization of the Abbasid rule starting in the middle of the ninth century.

The report explained that after a series of conquests and rule by successive dynasties, from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Iraq, especially Baghdad, changed control over it between the competing Ottoman and Safavid empires, and Iraq became a buffer zone between the Sunni and Shiite powers in the Middle East.

He continued, “When the Ottomans recaptured Baghdad and most of Iraq from the Safavids for the second time during the year 1638, it did not return to Persian control again, and remained under the control of the Ottomans until it fell under British rule in 1918 during the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.” .

The report added that an Iraqi kingdom was formed in the face of the revolutions across the country against the British mandate in 1920, a year later under the rule of the “foreign” King Faisal who was appointed by the British, in light of the concentration of power in the hands of the educated minority Sunni elite, as was the case in the era of The Ottomans.

After noting that the supposed “independence” of the kingdom from Britain did not occur until 1932, the report considered that “this does not mean that it was a sovereign country, since Britain, which intervened during World War II due to a pro-Nazi coup in 1941, restored The inauguration of King Faisal,” and the monarchy continued until the 1958 military coup that consolidated Iraq as a republic and declared the end of British influence in the country.

The report considered that Abdul Karim Qassem, the leader of the “July 14 Revolution”, became the first prime minister of the republic, and it can be said that he was the first independent leader of contemporary Iraq.

The report saw that Abdul Karim Qasim’s decision to withdraw from the pro-Western Baghdad Pact, establish stronger relations with the Soviet Union and rely heavily on the support of the Iraqi Communist Party, quickly contributed to its downfall, driven by resentment by Arab nationalists and the outbreak of a Kurdish revolution.

He considered that “there was no one more concerned than the United States, which had begun to show more interest in the region at the height of the Cold War, and the CIA had planned to assassinate Qassem, with a failed attempt in 1959, in which they participated, Saddam Hussein, the young man from among a group From five other Ba’athists, then Qassem was overthrown and executed in 1963 after the Ba’athist coup suspected of being supported by the CIA.

While the report referred to the beginning of Saddam Hussein’s reign in power, the outbreak of the revolution in Iran, and then the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war, the report pointed out that Iraq was again a buffer zone of some kind, this time, with the support of the West and the Gulf sheikhs, to serve as a Sunni fortress against Iran’s threat to export its revolution in the region.

After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the report said that for the first time in its modern history, power shifted to the Shiite majority, and the government sided with Iran, which welcomed the removal of Saddam and glimpsed an opportunity to exercise its influence in the country.

He noted that “the issue of Iraq’s sovereignty and weakness as a state has remained a constant aspect of the post-2003 era,” explaining, for example, that Turkey and Iran have repeatedly launched air strikes against Kurdish militias in the north.

He pointed to Iran’s role in supporting the Popular Mobilization Forces to counter the emergence of ISIS and its control over 40% of Iraqi lands, defeating it regionally and preventing it from reaching Baghdad and the important Shiite shrine cities in the south.

After pointing out that there was a question about the reason for the existence of the US embassy complex, the largest in the Vatican, and the largest in the world, the report considered that events show that “Iraq is still not an independent country since it gained independence and is still highly vulnerable to foreign interference in its affairs,” recalling an assassination attempt. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

The report concluded by noting that after Muqtada al-Sadr’s meeting with the Shiite forces that challenged the election results, al-Sadr said on “Twitter” that the next Iraqi majority government would be free of foreign interference.

The report stressed that “if this turns out to be true, it will be unprecedented in the contemporary history of Iraq.”

https://shafaq.com/ar/%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D9%88%D8%AA%D8%AD%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA/%D9%84-%D9%88%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B0-%D8%B9%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%8A%D9%86-%D9%87%D9%84-%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%88%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%BA%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AE%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%AE%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AA

The coordination framework holds a new meeting.. Find out what was agreed upon

political| 11:04 – 03/12/2021

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Baghdad – Mawazine News
The Shiite coordination framework held, on Friday, a new meeting to discuss the management of the next stage.
In an interview with Mawazine News, an informed source said, “The framework held a new meeting at the home of the President of the Supreme Council, Hammam Hammoudi.”
He added, “The meeting agreed to form delegations to visit the various national forces to express their position and call for a joint administration for the next stage, stress the framework’s position on the election results, and await the court’s pleading on his submitted appeals.” Ended 29 / h

https://www.mawazin.net/Details.aspx?jimare=177293

Video.. Peshmerga: 10 martyrs, most of them from our forces, in an ISIS attack between Erbil and Nineveh

  •  Time: 03/12/2021 09:45:53 
  •  Reading: 1,313 times 

{Umniah: Al Furat News} The Ministry of Peshmerga in the Kurdistan Regional Government announced that the death toll of Peshmerga forces and civilians has risen to ten during an attack carried out by ISIS terrorist gangs in a Kurdish village separating the governorates of Erbil and Nineveh, yesterday evening, Thursday. 

The ministry’s statement stated, “The exposure of ISIS elements to the village of Khader Khajeeja at the foot of Mount Qarachogh led to the deaths of three citizens, after which the Peshmerga forces confronted ISIS elements, but the explosion of an explosive device planted by ISIS elements led to the death of seven Peshmerga victims.”

The ministry added, “Once again, we affirm that coordination and cooperation between the Peshmerga and Defense Ministries and the International Coalition is getting out of this deadlock, and it is necessary to rush to carry out joint military operations against ISIS and not to allow the terrorists to have their own places in the region.”

https://alforatnews.iq/news/%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%88-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%83%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B4%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF-10-%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%AA%D9%87%D9%85-%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%A7-%D8%A8%D9%87%D8%AC%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%B4%D9%8A-%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A3%D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A%D9%84-%D9%88%D9%86%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%88%D9%89

Sheikh Dler: The National Union Adheres To Barham Salih As A Candidate For The “Presidency Of The Republic”

POLITICIANLAST UPDATE 12/03/2021 | 8:33 AM

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Information / Baghdad…

A member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Rizan Sheikh Dler, confirmed that the Union adhered to Barham Salih as a candidate for the presidency of the Republic, stressing that the coming days will witness the establishment of alliances, especially with regard to the Kurdish bloc to go to Baghdad and negotiate the next stage.

Dler said to “Information”, “The Presidency of the Republic deserves the Kurdish component, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, but the dialogues about this matter have not been held with the other parties.”

She added, “The National Union adheres to Barham Salih as a candidate for the presidency of the republic for the next stage, but the matter has not yet been discussed with the rest of the parties in the political process.”

And she indicated that “the coming days will witness dialogues with the other parties, as this will precede the alliance of the Kurdish parties and the formation of the Kurdistan bloc in order to negotiate over the seats.” finished 25

شيخ دلير: الاتحاد الوطني متمسك ببرهم صالح كمرشح لـ “رئاسة الجمهورية”