Saleh stresses the necessity of adopting constitutional contexts and avoiding interests in choosing the prime minister

Saleh stresses the necessity of adopting constitutional contexts and avoiding interests in choosing the prime minister

Saleh stresses the necessity of adopting constitutional contexts and avoiding interests in choosing the prime minister{Baghdad: Al Furat News} Today, President of the Republic Barham Salih stressed the necessity of adopting constitutional contexts and avoiding interests in choosing the prime minister.

The media office for Saleh said in a statement that he received {Al Furat News} a copy of it, that the latter “continues to hold intensive consultations with leaders of political blocs, popular and social activities, academic elites, trade unions and professional associations, and various segments of society for the purpose of assigning a candidate to the prime minister who enjoys the support of the people “.

Saleh stressed, according to the statement, “During his ongoing consultations, it is necessary to adopt the constitutional contexts and the specific timing of time, to ensure that the head of the new government takes over the task of managing the transitional phase, until parliamentary elections are held under a fair election law, and by the management of an independent election commission.”

The statement added: “The constitutional context requires, according to the requirements of Article 76 of the constitution, the political blocs concerned in Parliament to present their candidate, provided that the mandate comes from the President of the Republic.”
Saleh stressed during his meetings that “communication, dialogue and consultation between parliamentary blocs in order to adopt the nomination of the appropriate personality for the position of Prime Minister, must be consistent with the aspirations and legitimate demands of the Iraqi people, and that the new government obtain the political and popular support required to implement the necessary reforms in preparation for the conduct of fair elections.” .

He pointed out that “the magnitude of the serious challenges facing our country necessitates refraining from factional and partisan interests in nominating the Prime Minister, adopting the people’s consent, commitment to meet the entitlement to reform, and submitting national priorities to partisan considerations.” is over

Alforatnews.com

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“Barzani” intends to implement a “major” campaign against corruption in the Kurdistan region

The two main parties threatened .. “Barzani” intends to implement a “major” campaign against corruption in the Kurdistan region

Baghdad today – Kurdistan – The head of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masroor Barzani, intends to carry out a “big” campaign against corruption within the region’s departments, according to informed sources, who said that the campaign will start after the Kurdistan Parliament votes on a law to reduce the privileges of officials.

Kurdish sources told (Baghdad Today), that “the two main parties inside the Kurdistan Region (National and Democratic) have used employment and the salaries of martyrs and social welfare for their benefit, and they registered thousands of their members to receive government salaries, as part of supporting their parties in the elections, whether parliamentary or Kurdistan elections.”

She added that “Masroor Barzani threatened to cancel all these salaries, and demanded that the two parties cooperate with him,” noting that he intends to implement a campaign against corruption after the parliament’s vote on the reform law that reduces the privileges of officials and cuts the salaries of employees who receive more than one salary, and removes the names of counterfeiters from salaries Social welfare and retirement, “explaining that” Barzani’s campaign will include the dismissal of dozens of managers who have been in service for more than 10 years, especially in departments that are suspected of corruption. ”

The Kurdish sources indicated that “the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government will delegate to his deputy, Qubad Talabani, a campaign to dismiss the directors around whom suspicions of corruption are circulating in Sulaimaniyah, Halabja, and the areas of influence of the National Union, granting him all powers in this regard.”

For his part, Saleh Faki, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, confirms that his party will cooperate with Masroor Barzani in combating corruption in the Kurdistan region.

Faki said in an interview with (Baghdad today): “We will provide all facilities to Barzani in order to implement his plan to fight corruption, because the process will be in the interest of the Kurdistan region.”

On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the Kurdistan Regional Council of Ministers discussed during a regular session headed by Masroor Barzani and the presence of his deputy, Qubad Talabani, on a draft reform law on retirement, salaries, allowances, grants and benefits in the Kurdistan region, within the framework of the reform program for the ninth formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

A statement by the regional government stated that the Prime Minister confirmed that the reform is an ongoing and long-term process that includes all sectors, and said: “From the first day to form the new government, we made a promise to the people to send this project to Parliament.”

The Prime Minister indicated that all political parties and parties in the government participated in the project to achieve the public interest, establish justice and guarantee the rights of those who are entitled.

After a thorough discussion of the project materials and paragraphs and making the necessary changes, the Cabinet decided to ratify the project, to be referred to the Kurdistan Regional Parliament.

Baghdadtoday.news

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Washington is considering imposing sanctions on nine leaders of the Popular Mobilization Forces

Washington is considering imposing sanctions on nine leaders of the Popular Mobilization Forces

imageBaghdad – Mawazine News: The US House of Representatives is studying a new project to impose sanctions on nine leaders in the Iraqi popular crowd.

“The American Congress is considering imposing additional sanctions on the deputy head of the popular crowd, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis,” Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya channel reported in a breaking news watched by Wazzin News.

A week ago, Washington imposed sanctions on four Iraqi officials, including the Secretary General of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq movement, Qais al-Khazali and his brother Laith al-Khazali. Ended

Mawazin.net

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US State Department: We call on Iran to stop assisting third parties in Iraq

US State Department: We call on Iran to stop assisting third parties in Iraq

Baghdad / Akhbariya: The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has pledged that the United States will respond decisively to any attack by Iran or its followers that could harm the American forces or their partners in Iraq.

“We strongly condemn the attack by Iran’s followers, which wounded 5 Iraqi soldiers near Baghdad airport this week,” Pompeo said in a tweet posted Friday evening on his official account on Twitter.

Pompeo threatened, saying: “For Iranian leaders, the United States will respond resolutely if Iran or its followers inflict any harm on American cadres or our Iraqi partners.”

Ikhnews.com

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Private Sector Investment – What Strategy for the next PM?

 

Private Sector Investment – What Strategy for the next PM?

By Dr Amer K. Hirmis.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author.

Private sector investment in Iraq –

What strategy for the next Prime Minister?

Iraq is in turmoil. The protests of the Iraqi youth, which started on October 1st 2019, are calling for the end of corruption, inequality in income distribution, high unemployment and the current (ethno-sectarian) political system and outside interference. They are also calling for a better life and, metaphorically, for their ‘own country’ (watan).

The protests have so far claimed the resignation of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the outgoing prime minister. The appointment of a new prime minister is imminent. However, it is not certain whether president, Barham Salih, or, indeed, the current parliament itself will remain in place for a long time. The system they are part of has failed.

Politics aside, this situation compounds an already unfavourable environment for doing business in Iraq, as strongly indicated in a recent World Bank report (Oct. 2019). Political instability, uncertainty and indecision provide no comfort for the private investor.

There are, however, a number of reasons why the next prime minister should be bold and determined to make fundamental changes to encourage private sector investment. There is a need to ameliorate the severe structural problems in Iraqi economy to lessen its dependence on oil exports. The enormous challenges they face include high youth unemployment (at ca. 25 percent), young population (60 percent under 30 years of age) and growing at around 3 percent pa., over 700,000 people entering the labour market each year, hundreds of thousands of senior schools and university graduates, to mention a few. They must act fast, deep and wide. None of these challenges is easy! The new prime minister must be willing to make economic development in the face of adversities. New strategies are a must, reversing old ways of doing things.

This brief note provides a few suggestions relating to what the next prime should do to induce (domestic and foreign) private investment in the economy.

First though history. The graph below shows the dominance of public sector investment (gross fixed capital formation) over the last 50 years. The decline in private investment intensified following the 1964 nationalisation of major private sector concerns, in industry, banking and commerce.

Private sector’s share of non-oil GDP declined from 87.3 percent in 1950 to 62.5 percent in 2010 (Hirmis, A.K. 2018a: 57). It was 61.8 percent in 2017 (cosit.gov.iq/n. accounts/2018, p.10).

Structure and ownership

The private sector’s role in the economy has been relegated for nearly 60 years now. Its previously wide-ranging economic activities have now been confined to mainly in retail and trade, construction, transport and ICT (http://cosit.gov.iq/AAS2017…). Crafts and light industry are the province of the private sector.

The majority of businesses are owned by sole proprietors, with the rest being largely family partnerships: the country has few large, multi-industry conglomerates. However, large private businesses are emerging in ICT, particularly mobile communications, in technical services for the oil and gas sector, and in manufacturing. Productivity in the private sector varies: Iraqi private firms perform better in this regard than others in the MENA region in textiles and garments, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, non-metals and equipment; by contrast, food processing and electronics have a relatively low level of productivity (WB 2017; WB 2019; and RoI, 2014: 41, apud Idris, I. 2018).

Skills and education

As Christine van den Toornhas (2019) has remarked a key first step “will be education reform to prepare young Iraqis for private sector employment…It is clear that the issue is not a lack of demand…a lack of training in basic business skills such as finance and accounting, and a lack of core professional abilities, from critical thinking, research and report writing to being able to work with common software programs…This points to the urgent need to completely overhaul the public education system, including modernizing the curriculum…(short-term solutions include)… a nationwide series of accredited, specialized, one- or two-year programs that focus on developing language, business and professional competencies” Back in 2003, Nancy Birdsall (2003: 61) had observed that “Development and democracy require a fast uptake of Iraqis, including girls and women, into secondary school. They require replacing a school system focused on doctrinal propaganda with a system responsive to new demands for marketable skills.”

The wider issues

Second, the wider issues facing any future Iraqi prime minister in relation to inducing private sector investment go beyond industry structure, ownership, skills and education, noted above. The next prime minister should have a robust and realistic vision for Iraq’s economy, and its characterisation. They should decide for example whether they wish to build a capitalist, market, economy, where the private sector plays a key role whilst government plays an enabling role for wealth and jobs creation, especially in the productive sectors, like manufacturing and agriculture? On this point government has dithered since 2003. Now there is an opportunity to decide on the character of the Iraqi economy going forward.

The prime minister and his advisors should, critically, have clear views of the dynamics of private sector performance; the business environment needed for investment to take place, and for firms to operate successfully. Private investment takes place on a very simple and familiar premise: the anticipated reward is worth taking the risk – i.e. reward vs. risk.

On the investment side, the World Bank’s October 2019 report on ‘Doing Business 2020 – Iraq’ clearly shows why both the domestic and foreign private investors are weary and reticent. Iraq fails on all the measured indicators used to assess the business environment – the ease of doing business. Iraq currently does not provide a favourable business environment. These indicators include ‘getting electricity’, registering property, obtaining credit, enforcing contracts and, inter alia, resolving insolvency. Iraq came 172nd out of 190 countries, very close to the bottom. In short, the next prime minister, and his advisors, must rise to an enormous challenge. And, this is one of the yardsticks for judging the success or failure of the next prime minister’s administration.

On the side of operation and performance, the latter, typically, depends essentially on eight factors both internal and external to the firm, as shown in the Figure below.

Economic history of market economies shows that growth is generated mainly by the private sector; the government plays an enabling role, through its economic policies, regulation, support for innovation and trade, and ensuring political stability within a democratic framework. Government also subsidies and regulates education, health services and physical infrastructure. However, regardless of the stage of economic development, a number of factors come together to influence both private investment level/structure and the performance of the firms, as indicated above.

Firms also need to consider in detail their profit and loss accounts – in the process of making profits (if they do), firms typically make allowances for wages, interest-bearing loans, or equity raised privately or from commercial/state banks. In addition, taxation, dividends, retained earnings, are also considered. Decisions on these matters constitute part of the firm’s behaviour, and could affect its future direction – e.g. expansion, diversification, or even closure. In the case of Iraq, there is also a consensus amongst observers that tackling corruption, bureaucracy and doing without an ethno-sectarian system of government is critical for economic development. Corruption, bureaucracy and cronyism deny many qualified potential employees access to jobs they deserve to have. Security and political stability are also a must for sustained private investment.

In other words, a large number of factors need to be taken into account in balancing the rewards versus the risks at the firm level. The new Iraqi government must account for this.

Finally, at the strategic (macro) level, the new prime minister has at least three options to stimulate private sector investment, accounting for the eight factors noted in the Figure above.

Option one is to introduce a radical and swift reform concerning doing business in Iraq, creating a conducive environment to induce private investment, by removing constraints facing it. The new prime minister would be well-advised to take a leaf from the World Bank’s recommendations for doing business in Iraq. They should also take a leaf from the government’s own ‘Private Sector Development Strategy 2014-2030’ which recommends amending current laws and regulations governing the private sector which impede the sector’s growth. These include Investment Law 13 of 2006; Company Law 21of 1997; Industrial Development Law 164 of 1964; Implementation of large projects Law 157 of 1973 and the Economic Establishment Law 98 of 1964). On the other hand, the private sector investors should observe the rule of law, especially the Labour Law (37) 2015.

The new prime minister should also seriously consult with Iraqi ‘Chambers of Commerce’ and ‘Confederations of Industry’ to develop an awareness of their concerns, aspirations and the dynamics of their performance.

Option two is to start with restructuring and rejuvenating the ‘State-owned enterprises’ (SOEs), to improve their productivity, keeping in mind the socio-political impacts this option might have. The SOEs, most of which are dysfunctional and inefficient assume a drain on government’s budget due to underemployment, redundancy and maladministration. The SOEs have also assumed control over the sectors concerned and in effect crowded-out most non-oil private firms (WB, 2017). The new prime minister could introduce a form of partnership with the (domestic or foreign) private sector to rejuvenate the SOEs, based on, say, 30-40 years lease, profit-sharing, joint operation, ensuring continuous professional development for Iraqi workers and continuous research and development(R&D). When in operation, major ventures should be linked with Iraqi/foreign universities, to encourage innovation. Such partnership arrangements do not have to take the form of BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) or BOOT (Build-Own-Operate-Transfer) business models. A new model could be struck, having the advantages of minimizing public cost for investment, reducing public debt, allowing for innovation, improving productivity (especially via FDI – Foreign Direct Investment), and, improve good governance, transparency etc. These arrangements could be applied to the manufacturing, agriculture and physical infrastructure of the economy, to start with.

Option three is to widen the remit of the proposed ‘Construction Council’ which the current/new parliament will consider in the form of a ‘Construction Council Bill.’ This was forwarded by cabinet to parliament on September 17, 2019 (https://gds.gov.iq/ar/cabinet-approves-the-draft-construction-council-bill/). For the Bill to induce private investment its current objectives and mechanisms need fundamental review and amendments to widen its remit so that SMEs could, for example, gain access to finance. Also, the Bill must not become another mechanism to further corruption and money laundering. It must ensure that Council works on strictly professional basis, avoiding the politicisation of its remit/work. Critically, the new ‘Construction Council’ must be regulated by, say, a new independent ‘Office for Economic Development Responsibility’ (OEDR) ensuring that Council performs and delivers major/SME projects efficiently and effectively. This means that the operator must not be the regulator, which is the case in many Iraqi institutions at present. Otherwise, the seeds of corruption will be easily sown (http://iraqieconomists.net/en/2019/10/10/the-construction-council-bill-2019-a-critique-by-dr-amer-k-hirmis/). On this basis, the new prime minister could make a real difference and amend the current broken system of doing business in Iraq.

Of course the above three options are inextricably linked, indeed they could be implemented in parallel.

In all these options, education and economic development must be strongly linked, as noted above. University and vocational training graduates need to end up in jobs created by expanding productive and service sectors, taking advantage of the ‘digital revolution.’ In short, there must be close link between education (curricula) and the skills needs in the labour market. All girls and boys should have access to education to advanced level (up 16-18 of age), so that they would make informed decisions for themselves, in life and in participating in the labour market (Hirmis, A.K. 2018b). This is especially important at the micro-firm-level, ensuring the skills required are provided.

In summary

The new prime minister will be faced with many challenges, noted above, and none is easy!

Stimulating private sector investment is one area where they can turn these challenges into opportunities. The new prime minister will need to muster great wisdom and determination to rise to these challenges, and assist in wealth and jobs creation. Learning from Iraq’s own history and also from foreign experience in economic growth, is always rewarding. The new prime minister should seek well-reasoned, workable advice and apply it in the Iraqi context. This is one way of enhancing state craft. Iraqis will be watching the new prime minister very closely, and will demand results!

END

Dr Amer K. Hirmis is Principal at UK-based consultancy CBS Ltd. (2008-present). In October 2009, Amer began a 20-months assignment as Senior Development Planning Advisor to the Ministry of Planning in Iraq (funded under the DANIDA programme for ‘peace and reconstruction’ in Iraq). The posts Amer has assumed include Chief Economist and Head of Policy at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1992-5), Economic Advisor to UK South West Regional Development Agency (1996-8) and Associate Director and then Head of Consulting and Research (Middle East) at the global firm DTZ (1998 to 2007).

Dr Amer K Hirmis is the author of ‘The Economics of Iraq – ancient past to distant future’

Iraq-businessnews.com

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Is a NEW IRAQ being BORN? – VisualPolitik EN

Is a NEW IRAQ being BORN?

We’re sure that many connect the word IRAQ with a country that’s been destroyed and ravaged by war. A place full of conflicts. And that has been Iraq’s reality in recent decades, especially with the First Gulf War, the US invasion and the emergence of the Islamic State – which managed to occupy a large part of the country.

However, in this video we’re not going to talk about a destroyed Iraq, or disasters or victims, or misfortune.

You already know that we love to look at the good side of things. And, it’s precisely, in this video, here on VisualPolitik that we’ll try to take a look at the side of Iraq, which we never hear about. That is, their good side. What are the reasons that Iraq has to be optimistic?

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BGG ~ If you would like to buy Dinar  – Call us, leave a voicemail, send a text (615-509-6256 – anytime), an e-mail or FB message us. These all work.

We have Dinar – Our Current Price is $975 per million.

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Nujaifi: Iraq began to thwart the empire of Iran in the region

Nujaifi: Iraq began to thwart the empire of Iran in the region

Former Iraqi parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said in an exclusive interview with al-Arabiya and al-Hadath that parties holding power would not give up easily, but street pressure would force them to heed the protesters’ demands.

He also stressed that the Iraqi people reject Iran’s hegemony over its territory and interfere in its affairs, especially in the central and southern regions, which Iran was betting on, adding that the Iranian presence in Iraq will end even after a while.

The presence of Iran in Iraq will end

Nujaifi added: “We are going to early elections to correct the political process in Iraq,” stressing the need for UN supervision of the upcoming elections. “Iran is interfering in Iraqi affairs and will not allow its presence in Iraq to be weakened.” He pointed out that Tehran will not hand over Iraq easily, and is working to establish an empire in the region “This is beginning to fail in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.”

He called the former Iraqi parliament speaker to involve the demonstrators in the drafting of the election law and the Commission to ensure stability, wondering the role of the state in the case of clans took up arms to protect the demonstrators?

Lost control of the country management

Najafi felt that Iraq was going to unknown if the insistence of political forces not to change, pointing out that the demonstrations came out of the womb of suffering and if any external intervention Vhoh simple.

He added that the resigned Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was involved in the killing, “and there are people running the political process.” He added that Abdul-Mahdi gave the real power to non-state actors, he was lacking will and control over the management of the country’s affairs directly.

Shafaaq.com

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A member of the parliamentary talks about “corrupt” businessmen under the protection of influential figures in the state

A member of the parliamentary talks about “corrupt” businessmen under the protection of influential figures in the state

Baghdad Today-Baghdad: A member of the Parliamentary Economic Committee, Salem Tufayli, on Saturday, November 30, 2019 about the presence of businessmen whom he described as corrupt are protected from influential figures in the state, while stressing the need to hold everyone accountable according to the law and that no one above it.

“There are businessmen involved in the theft of money and involvement in mock projects, with the help of political figures who are often in force in the state,” Tufayli said in an interview.

He added that “the law should be applied to everyone and no one should be above the law,” pointing out that “there are dozens of arrest warrants and recruitment issued against businessmen involved in the files of corruption and theft of public money.”

He pointed out that “the fight against corruption in the country should not distinguish between the corrupt abuser or the contractor or simple employee, so the law should be applied to everyone without exception, and keep the judiciary and regulatory agencies from political pressure.”

The former Chairman of the Commission on Integrity, Rahim al-Okaili, counted Wednesday (27 November 2019) laws enacted by the House of Representatives during the last period to fight corruption “suspicious”, among the Iraqi people have become unbelievable political forces that legitimized, which protect the corrupt and threaten those who pursue them .

“We cannot eradicate corruption without raising the level of accountability, and what is happening now is a good procedure to prosecute the corrupt people, which is under pressure from the demonstrations,” he said during a show hosted by Dr. Nabil Jassem.

He pointed out that he was not optimistic about the elimination of corruption. He said that this was caused by a lack of political will to fight corruption.

He stressed that “the political class in most of them have the potential to pressure the regulators and prevent them from doing their work and this is the reason for the failure to fight corruption.”

On the laws initiated by the parliament during the last period to fight corruption, Okeili said that “the laws that legislate to fight corruption are suspected because people have become unbelievable political forces that legislate.”

He pointed out that “this class has tools to prevent the accountability of the corrupt belonging to them, and there is a clash between the political forces in the file of corruption applies the title (shut up me and shut up about you).”

He pointed out that “there is a significant involvement of political forces in the file of corruption, and must allocate large funds equivalent to the money allocated in the fight against terrorism,” stressing that “the judiciary can not take its turn if the parties that have money and weapons threaten the authority and prevent From doing their duty. ”

“There are well-known corruption files that must be done to topple the whales of corruption and the judicial authorities need strong support from the demonstrators to face political money and the influence of the forces in which the corrupt are present,” the former head of the Integrity Commission said.

“The fight against corruption should be headed by a judge who is professional and impartial and must have protection to encourage it,” he said.

He went on to say, “Wherever you reach out in the Iraqi state, you find countless corruption and do not occur to human beings.And the most prominent files of corruption are speculative sums of money, which is guessing the purchase in the ministries of imported materials and getting the deals of aircraft, weapons and others, which is not difficult to stop.”

“Our thieves are stealing in the daytime without fear and do not need the tools of theft at night. The law of graft has been in place since 2011 and will not be applied and there is exploitation of popular protests now to practice corruption and not to fight it.”

Baghdadtoday.news

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BAGHDAD EXPECTED TO TRANSFER NEARLY 1 TRILLION IQD TO ERBIL MONTHLY

BAGHDAD EXPECTED TO TRANSFER NEARLY 1 TRILLION IQD TO ERBIL MONTHLY

SULAIMANI — The government of Iraq is expected to send nearly one trillion Iraqi dinars ($838 million) per month to the Kurdistan Region in 2020 after Baghdad and Erbil reach agreement over oil exports and budget, a parliamentarian said.

Coordinator of Financial Committee at the Iraqi parliament Ahmed Safar said the federal government would transfer the total share of the region from the budget for fiscal year 2020 after Erbil exported 250,000 barrels of oil per day through Baghdad.

“Next year will be different for the Kurdistan Region because it hands over the oil,” he told Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)-affiliated media on Wednesday (November 27).

“Baghdad is expected to transfer nearly 1 trillion dinars to the Kurdistan Region according to the budget which Iraq has for the next year,” he added.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government reached an agreement to resolve their ongoing disagreement over oil on Monday.

The Kurdistan Region is expected to export 250,000 barrels of oil per day through Baghdad to Turkey’s Cihan port in return Baghdad will send the region’s share from the federal budget for 2020.

A Kurdish delegation is expected to visit Baghdad next week to discuss the Kurdistan Region’s share from the federal budget, according to authorities.

Oil is just one of several persistent disagreements between the two governments, which also include security and the disputed areas.

(NRT Digital Media)

Nrttv.com

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