57100 "evict maliki" countdown : 6 days to the election
"EVICT MALIKI" COUNTDOWN : 6 DAYS TO THE ELECTION
NOTE: that the countdown notice has been amended to qualify the Election as "Scheduled " to give emphasis to the tenuous state of political / constitutional affairs in Iraq in recent days and specifically the mention in the news of a possible delay in the election due to the Anbar diaspora. Add to the foregoing the " threat" of the election occurring under martial law with Maliki as the chief executive officer.
57101 Iraqi ambassador predicts prolonged delay in forming new government
Iraqi ambassador predicts prolonged delay in forming new government
Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Faily said April 23 that parliamentary elections scheduled next week are unlikely to produce a majority for any one party and that the United States retains considerable influence in Iraq despite the withdrawal two years ago of all American combat troops.
Summary⎙ Print In an interview with Al-Monitor, Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Faily said the United States is "more influential" than Iran in helping Iraq defeat al-Qaeda in Anbar.
Author Barbara Slavin
Posted April 23, 2014
Faily, speaking to Al-Monitor a day after completing the Boston Marathon, said Iraqis have a different “concept of time” than Westerners and suggested that the elections could also help clarify nagging divisions that have undermined Iraqi unity, such as the distribution of oil revenues among Iraqi regions and provinces.
In the run-up to elections, stories in US media about Iraq have been almost universally gloomy, stressing the danger of the country dissolving back into civil war following the entrenchment of religious extremists in predominantly Sunni Anbar province, an epidemic of suicide bombings directed against Shiites and growing separatist tendencies in the northern Kurdish area. Nearly 8,000 civilians died last year and more than 2,500 people have been killed since January — tolls not seen since Americans were fighting in Iraq in 2008.
Faily, a British-educated mathematician of Kurdish origin who previously served as Iraq’s ambassador to Japan, did not minimize the challenges. However, he pointed out that some 9,000 people are running for 328 seats in parliament — an increase in candidates since the last elections in 2010 — and said that participation was expected to be around 60%. To prevent the disenfranchisement of Sunnis — which diminished the legitimacy of Iraq’s 2005 elections, boycotted by many Sunnis — the nearly 400,000 residents of Anbar who have fled their homes since fighting broke out there in December will be permitted to vote in neighboring provinces, Faily said.
Former US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, speaking April 22 at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, said the most likely outcome is that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition receives the most votes but not enough to form a government without protracted negotiations. Faily agreed. “We know for a fact that there will not be one party that takes a majority,” he said. “If you look at Anbar or the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] region, State of Law does not have representation. … No single party or even bloc can dominate. … They have to get the buy-in of others.”
After the 2010 elections, it took Iraqis nine months to form a new government and this could happen again, with Maliki serving in an acting capacity, said the ambassador, who comes from Maliki's Dawa Party. “The key challenge is that most of the political blocs don’t have clear red lines, which creates confusion and misreading of each other,” he said. “You may have prolonged government formation after. Historically it wasn’t quick. But the concept of time is not as crucial for us as in the Western concept.”
Among the tough decisions on hold until after elections: agreement on how much of their oil Kurds can export through Turkey and how much revenue they will get from the central government. Faily said the Kurds are not the only ones who are looking for more resources from Iraq’s oil wealth. “We get more calls from the governor of Basra than from the KRG on this issue,” he said. * SEE ALSO BELOW
At the same time, Faily said that oil remains the “gel” for society and could keep Iraq from fragmenting into three or more pieces. “There is enough oil there for everybody to be prosperous,” he said.
Beyond its own significant ethnic and religious divisions, Iraq has suffered from the spillover of Syria’s three-year bloodbath. Faily said, “At this moment, we can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel in relation to the Syrian situation.” He called the situation in Syria “as complicated as Iraq” but less prone to resolution because “you don’t have the wealth of the oil to entice parties into government formation.”
Syrian factions, he said, are embroiled in a truly existential struggle where combatants are unable to negotiate because “nobody is willing to accept the other. … What we had in Iraq was sectarianism; what you have in Syria is the annihilation of ethnicities.”
Faily denied allegations that the Baghdad government is encouraging Shiite fighters to go to Syria to support the regime of Bashar al-Assad. While Iraqis who opposed Saddam Hussein were sheltered by Assad’s father, Faily said, “As a government, we never advocated any fighters to go there. … People try to pigeonhole us into supporting the Syrian regime. We’ve never tried to say we support what the Syrian regime is doing. At the same time, give us an alternative form of government.”
Many commentators have suggested that Iran — which also sheltered Saddam's opponents — is now Iraq’s most important ally. Faily said he could not quantify the relationship but asserted that the United States was still a key partner, particularly in trying to resolve the conflict in Anbar. Americans have influence because of Iraq’s need for US military equipment and training, the history of the 2007-2008 surge and of the Sahwa, or Awakening, of Sunni Arab tribes opposed to al-Qaeda, he said. He said Iraq also looks to the United States for expertise in education, health care and other core infrastructure and noted that Iraq has a strategic framework agreement with Washington, not Tehran.
Asked what more the United States could do to help remove Sunni extremists hunkered down in Fallujah, Ramadi and other Anbar cities, Faily said, “We are willing to discuss with you all of our needs and cooperation short of boots on the ground.” He said the Barack Obama administration and Congress are exhibiting a new “sense of urgency” about Iraq but that “we also know we can’t get it in the pace we want it.” Apache helicopters, for example, are just being delivered and “we would have wanted them last year,” he said.
Faily, who offered in an interview with Al-Monitor shortly after he arrived in Washington last year for Iraq to serve as a bridge between the United States and Iran, suggested that Iraq no longer needed to play a mediating role because Washington and Tehran are talking directly. However, the US-Iran relationship “is still in the discovery mode,” he said, and nuclear negotiations would be the “acid test for this relationship to see if it can be evolved into some kind of coexistence and normality rather than tension and animosity.”
If Iran concludes a long-term nuclear agreement with the United States and the other permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, that will have a soothing effect on the entire region, Faily said. “It will automatically lead to a better environment for mutual understanding … on matters having to do with the Gulf, with nuclear proliferation, with the sectarian element and stability and security of Israel and Hezbollah and Syria are a direct extension of that.”
In terms of Syria and the regional sectarian divide, however, Faily said a bigger factor would be Iran’s relations with Saudi Arabia. “An Iranian-Saudi rapprochement will have a significant impact on Syria, which will indirectly have an impact on us,” he said. It “may be more influential than Iranian-American rapprochement because these two are direct players.”
In terms of his own mission to the United States, Faily said he was working hard to improve Baghdad’s understanding of the dynamics “within the Beltway” and to increase people-to-people ties. That is why he is active on Twitter (@failylukman) and took part in the Boston Marathon.
The “key indicator” of whether he is a successful ambassador, Faily said, is if Americans “have a positive connotation of Iraq in their psyche” when he finishes his assignment a few years from now.
* Basra threatens to take over Iraq's South Oil Co.
The local government in Basra demanded the central Iraqi government to approve the country’s general budget soon. It threatened to take special measures, including handling the management of the affairs of the South Oil Co., located in Basra, and its funds, in case the budget decision was delayed.
Summary⎙ Print The Basra Provincial Council threatened to take over the South Oil Co. which operates in Basra, if the Iraqi central government fails to approve the general budget it has been calling for.
Author Ahmad Wahid
Posted April 23, 2014
Original Article اقرا المقال الأصلي باللغة العربية
The Basra Provincial Council held a special session at the company’s headquarters to send a message to the central government. The head of the council, Khalaf Abdul Samad, in a statement to Al-Hayat said, “The session was like a pressure card against the central government to urge it not to delay the approval of the budget until the next parliamentary session. The council will also submit an official statement to the parliament detailing what was decided during the session.”
Samad said, “The importance of holding the session, broadcasting it on TV and knowing who impeded it, whether it was the MPs with their absence, which led to not achieving a quorum, or the chair of the session by not including the plan on the agenda.”
“The government should not allow the Iraqi Kurdistan Region to export its oil without its approval, and a share of Iraq’s general budget, which relies greatly on the yields of Basra oil, should be allocated to the region. The delay in setting the budget has caused big problems for the governmental departments and institutions in Basra, as some public hospitals ran out of certain medicines. The Health Department cannot provide these medicines before the budget is passed. Moreover, the projects that are underway in the province cannot be completed if the contractors have not yet received their dues,” he noted.
“In its previous session, the provincial council decided to hold a one-hour strike every Wednesday in all governmental departments in Basra to protest against the parliament’s delay in approving the budget,” he added.
The Iraqi parliament is still lost in a turmoil of political disputes that are obstructing the approval of the budget, despite that four months have already passed since the start of the fiscal year. This is because each parliamentary party is clinging to its own amendments to the budget law.
The head of the State of Law Coalition in the Basra Provincial Council, Sabah al-Bazoni, said, “The South Oil Co. should be isolated and called the Basra Oil Co., and the local government in the province should handle all the company’s administrative and financial matters.”
“The province is seeking to take such decisions because the budget has not been approved yet and it is unlikely that it will be approved in the near future. Moreover, the parliamentary elections will be held end of April, which means that the country will enter a financial vacuum with repercussions that will last for months,” he said.
In a statement issued last week, the Basra Provincial Council stated, “The province cannot settle its debts to the construction companies operating in Basra because the contractors have suspended many projects that require spending of financial advances, which in turn require the approval of the general budget.”
57103 Hakim-led Citizen Coalition could shake up Iraqi elections
Hakim-led Citizen Coalition could shake up Iraqi elections
During the post-2003 era, secular and Islamic movements in Iraq have offered different proposals for their country, ravaged by decades of wars, blockade and tyranny. The secularists soon realized, however, that they could not adequately compete with the Islamists, who were supported by neighboring countries and enjoyed large popular bases. Thus Sunni and Shiite religious parties came to control Iraqi politics.
This situation has led some secularists to take on an Islamist image to win elected seats. Others, however, abandoned politics entirely, as was the case with the veteran politician Adnan Pachachi in 2005, while others temporarily left politics, such as Mithal al-Alusi after the killing of his children in 2005 and his ouster from the Iraqi parliament in 2008.
Although Iraq has been under the rule of the Shiite National Iraqi Alliance, the last eight years have shown that the Islamist movement within the alliance does not have a homogeneous identity or common policies for governance. Moreover, each party within the alliance has developed its own vision through experiences during this period, which has led to divisions and the emergence of various coalitions. Recent developments point to the complete collapse of the alliance, although this has not officially been announced.
When studying the inclinations of the new coalitions, one can see that a huge rift has developed between the moderates and extremists. The Badr Organization, which is directly linked to the Iranian Quds Force, split from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq in 2012, after the latter had founded the organization and supported it. Moreover, moderate members split from the State of Law Coalition to join the Citizen Coalition, after the former moved toward religious extremism and monopolization of power, not to mention its long record of failure in governance and corruption.
The Islamic Supreme Council has since adopted a civil political vision, gradually moving away from the ideology of political Islam upon which the council was initially founded. This has been particularly true since Ammar al-Hakim assumed leadership of the council. Hakim brought a breath of fresh air to the council, rejuvenating its structure by introducing young cadres with civil inclinations.
Hakim's initiatives also led to the formation in March of the large Citizen Coalition, led by Hakim and comprised of various civil powers and the moderate Islamic movement, a first of its kind alliance in post-2003 Iraqi elections. There are thus clear signs of a rapprochement between the moderate Islamic movement and secularists, whereas in the past they ran on separate electoral lists because they did not have anything in common in terms of sloganeering and platforms. This time around, however, in addition to common slogans and platforms, there are secularist candidates within Hakim’s Islamic movement. In fact, the coalition named known secularists, including women, some of whom are unveiled, as candidates as part of its unprecedented initiative.
The new course set by the Citizen Coalition has elicited a number of reactions. Rival and radical movements have tried to use it to taint Hakim's image, painting him as religiously uncommitted. Secularists and moderate Islamists, however, have welcomed the move, considering it a necessary act of openness toward the other, which at the end of the day works in the best interest of Iraq and its citizens. A strong secularist movement, the Civil Democratic Alliance, has also made an impression in the lead-up to the April 30 elections. This alliance consists of renowned civil and professional figures with long histories in economic, social, and political work.
To understand the possible course of the elections, one must consider two factors. First, there is no possibility for a united Shiite coalition, even if Iran pushes in that direction. Rather, Shiite authorities and the rival powers of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have agreed to remove the incumbent from power. Second, there is an important change in the electoral competitiveness map. That is, the role of religious identity has weakened in favor of political divisions on the basis of visions, goals and methods. Just as the Shiite alliance collapsed, and movements with different political visions surfaced, the same happened within the Iraqiya List, which formerly comprised the majority of Sunni powers.
The result of these two developments is that the alliances likely to emerge following the elections will be based on common general visions and policies, not just religious identity. This means that there is an opportunity for a coalition comprised of the Citizen Coalition, the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Civil Democratic Alliance. This will be considered a positive development in the political process in Iraq and will positively affect security and services, bridge divisions and ease the ongoing sectarian conflict.
* SEE ALSO : Hakim launches 'Citizen Coalition' in Iraqi elections
In an April 5 speech, Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Citizen Coalition, said that his coalition’s reform-minded approach is based on three tenets: the need for Iraq to be ruled by a competent team without wasting time on managing crises; the necessity to adopt a clear legal road map to restructure the Iraqi state; and the initiation of a real administrative revolution in state institutions.
57103 One Man’s Crusade to Reconcile Erbil and Rojava
One Man’s Crusade to Reconcile Erbil and Rojava
“I think the cantons have become a reality and it is necessary to deal with them,” says Muhammad Amin Penjweni.
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region—Veteran Kurdish politician Muhammad Amin Penjwini, has launched a personal crusade to reconcile the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Penjwini who is known to be a close friend of Abdullah Ocalan, PKK’s jailed leader, believes that “Unless the KDP and PKK reach an agreement on the situation in Western Kurdistan (Rojava), a great opportunity will be missed” for Kurds in that country.
57105 Saleh appearance: natural resources contribute to maximize the financial return
* Courtesy of Richard Incrocci *
Saleh appearance: natural resources contribute to maximize the financial returns
Conference and exhibition are global to discuss investment in mining
Baghdad - represents economic conferences in different sectors of the real opportunity to identify investment opportunities in any country in the world to pursue foreign investment companies and are looking forward to which the announcement opportunities with a view to its entry into the country to carry out their activities in different economic fields such as energy, metals and other opportunities available in the country.
and Iraq needs - according to economic expert, Dr. appearance of Mohammed Saleh - to diversify the economy of crude and natural resources instead of relying on oil as the sole of the country by launching the licensing round, especially in minerals after knowing the proven reserves of them inside Iraq.
announced Last week, for organizing a special conference of the metals in the Omani capital Muscat, as it is hoped the presence of representatives of the Ministries of Industry and Minerals Arabic, as well as representatives of relevant ministries such as the environment and water resources and national bodies to invest.
Saleh added in a statement to the (morning) that he should be at the current stage diversify the country's economy in the announcement of the rounds special licenses minerals after conducting geological surveys in areas where materials phosphate, sulfur and other minerals, indicating that the goal of a survey is to give exact numbers that represent the reserves of the true all important minerals in the country.
and the expert said that economy of raw materials neglected during the last two decades will require the establishment of a strategy to arrange investment raw materials from global companies to achieve mutually beneficial contracts just serve the stability of Iraq's exports them, stressing the importance of addressing these materials and improve because they are so supplementary materials in addition to being the raw materials involved in various industries.
He explained that the diversification of the economy of natural resources represents a convenient option where you must be exploited in an optimal way attract investors and maximize returns, noting that Canada and Australia of the most important countries that adopted in its economy on natural resources that have achieved a solid economy from which referred him stigmatized. And the benefit at the end of his speech the importance of expediting a process of Geological Survey to explore natural materials other along the existing ones so as to the importance of diversification of sources of balancing the country.
according to the body that will organize a conference and an exhibition WCW (Arab Mining 2014) about the mines and minerals and resources in the Arab countries, , this conference will be the first and biggest event highlights the investment opportunities in the field of mining in the Arab world. The head office company specializing Ahmed Al-Gadir told the (morning) that "The conference will offer a wide range of opportunities and projects across the region, including industrial development projects and exploration opportunities and the latest techniques used in the field of mining and minerals in the Arab countries, including Iraq."
and confirmed that he will participate in this conference, most companies and organizations, mining and interested in working in this country, where they are expected to attend more than 300 delegates to the conference and exhibition from all over the world and a large number of experts, academics and decision-makers and thought. noted Jader the presence of Arab and foreign investors seeking new opportunities in the field of minerals and related industries as well as mining companies, whether in the field of exploration and production. "It is expected the presence of representatives of financial institutions from banks and lenders and investment firms specialized and investors in the private sector, also will attend technology companies and licensing to provide the latest technologies and solutions available to them in the field of mining." And added that "This conference aims to create a forum for networking and exchange between Arab companies on Mining and Metals with Ndharaúhm of international organizations, investors and policymakers thought the resolution and display of mining projects available and take advantage of the expertise and modern technology in addition to discussing the development of the mining sector in the Arab countries. "concluded Al Jader his speech by saying that" this important event will draw success of the International Conference on the former, which was organized by the company in 2011 in London and carried out in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Industry and the U.S. Geological Survey, with the participation of many organizations and senior mining investors.
57106 «Central» emphasizes the absence of a law that allows the government to lend to
«Central» emphasizes the absence of a law that allows the government to lend to bridge the budget deficit
Iraqi Central Bank announced that the government «will not impose its policies upon because of its law», and the law gives him a «full autonomy are not allowed to lend because of the delay in approving the budget, stressing that Iraq's stockpiles of reserve funds« out of the financial power of the government ».
The administration has said the central bank «Iraqi Central Bank Law No. 56 of 2004 prohibits the government from imposing its policies on the Central Bank of Iraq», pointing out that «gives the bank full autonomy from the government so as not to make any loans to the government and does not receive orders, including the formation of policies that are subject accounts international standards ».
She Directors of the Bank that «the central bank reserves accumulated by expenses from previous budget», adding that «Iraq's stockpiles reserve funds covered the cash flow over the past years and so is out of the financial power of the government». Was the parliamentary Finance Committee has revealed, on March 3 the past, that the Iraqi government «4,5 billion dollars» in the Development Fund for Iraq, DFI, indicating that it «able» to cover the salaries of the staff of the Iraqi state, stressing that «there is no fear on salaries for the existence of a financial surplus of simple Iraqi oil sales».
The parliamentary Finance Committee has, in the February 24, 2014, the assets of the Development Fund for Iraq, DFI current amounting to six billion dollars just is not enough to pay the employees 'salaries for the month of March, and suggested that the government will have to borrow from the central bank to pay employees' salaries for the month of March.
The Committees of the parliamentary financial and economic, have called, in (12 February), to deal seriously with the warnings of the International Monetary Fund on increased government spending, and its implications for monetary reserves, while showed the Finance Committee that the government «threatened with bankruptcy» within four months if it does not pass the budget, saw its counterpart economic, estimates that the budget «did not take» into account regional and global developments, and it has prepared about «hazy and unclear» came a «mere allocations», warning of prejudice reserves, Iraq's financial hard currency.
57107 UN fund pays out $990 million compensation for Iraq's Kuwait invasion, total to
UN fund pays out $990 million compensation for Iraq's Kuwait invasion, total tops $45 billion
UN fund pays out $990 million compensation for Iraq's Kuwait invasion, total tops $45 billion
A U.N. panel that settles claims for damages resulting from Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait has paid out another $990 million.
The payment Thursday by the U.N. Compensation Commission brings the total paid so far to the government of Kuwait to $45.5 billion.
The commission says the latest payment goes toward settling a claim by the Kuwait Petroleum Corp. for production and sales losses resulting from damage to the country's oil fields.
The commission says another $6.9 billion remains to be paid from that award, which at $14.7 billion was the largest the panel made.
The Geneva-based commission was established by the U.N. Security Council in 1991 and is funded by a 5 percent tax on the export of Iraqi oil. It makes payments every three months.
57108 Othman denies reaching any agreement on the export of oil between Baghdad and A
Othman denies reaching any agreement on the export of oil between Baghdad and Arbil
BAGHDAD / NINA / The independent MP Mahmoud Othman of the coalition of Kurdish blocs denied " reaching any agreement on the export of oil between the federal government and the Kurdistan region."
He said in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / that differences between Baghdad and Erbil on the budget and the export of oil are still continuing , pointing to the failure of all the committees formed by the House of Representatives to reach a solution satisfactory to both parties , pointing to hold each party for its former stand " .
Othman said that "the recent statement of Deputy Speaker Arif Tayfur did not say anything , and what he said is that talks will take place between Baghdad and Erbil after the election to reach an agreement , and this matter is not certain to happen ."
It is mentioned that Deputy Speaker Arif Tayfur announced that the Kurdistan region and the federal government reached a tentative deal with the problem of the export of oil .
He said in a statement to the website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party : "The joint committee will be formed and will oversee the all Iraq oil exports ."
57109 MP: The next PM will be from the National Alliance exclusively
MP: The next PM will be from the National Alliance exclusively
Najaf / NINA / The MP, of the / citizen / bloc, Abdul-Hussein Abtan said that all components of the National Alliance agreed that the prime minister in the next government from the National Alliance exclusively and will be agreed upon by the results of the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Abtan said in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: "The National Alliance will hold a meeting immediately after the end of the election to discuss the mechanism for choosing the head of the government and its structure."