United Nations: recovery of the growth of the Iraqi economy after the defeat of Wahhabism


Foreign investors are beginning to be attracted to doing business in Iraq as the economic situation improves and a declaration of defeat defeats Wahhabism in the country, a Financial Times report quoted international officials as saying.

"Many countries have expressed their desire for economic cooperation with Baghdad after they have declared their full victory over terrorism in the country," the report quoted UN adviser to the Iraqi economy Falah Lami as saying on Saturday.

"In recent months, many delegations and government and private companies in Europe and the United States visited Iraq," he said, referring in particular to the "recent meeting between officials of the Central Bank of Iraq and representatives of Airbus and Total, as well as the visit of the British Prime Minister and a group of companies American. "

"All this indicates the recovery of Iraq. After announcing the final victory over terrorism, many have indicated that they want to invest in various areas of the Iraqi economy. Iraq has become a lucrative and attractive place for economic cooperation," he said.

"After falling oil prices, Baghdad desperately needs foreign capital and Chinese companies are already investing in the Iraqi economy," he said.

At the end of 2016, the World Bank approved a $ 1.485 billion new aid package for Iraq aimed at boosting the country’s economy, stimulating private sector growth and supporting job creation, while the country’s 2018 budget said strict costing would help the Iraqi authorities pay part Of its debt to the International Monetary Fund.


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Baghdad has not allocated a “single dinar” for the reconstruction of Yezidi areas ravaged by the war with ISIS, said a Yezidi lawmaker, slamming the government for a multitude of … According to Dakhil, Iraq has not allocated "a single dinar in its 2018 budget bill for Shingal.”.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Baghdad has not allocated a “single dinar” for the reconstruction of Yezidi areas ravaged by the war with ISIS, said a Yezidi lawmaker, slamming the government for a multitude of … According to Dakhil, Iraq has not allocated "a single dinar in its 2018 budget bill for Shingal.”.

USAID Counselor Thomas H. Staal, a former USAID Iraq Mission Director and now one of the agency’s top officials, returned to Iraq December 5-10 to advance U.S. efforts to help Iraq’s most vulnerable communities following the defeat of ISIS.

While in Baghdad, Staal met with government officials including Dr. Mahdi al-Allaq, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, to discuss how Iraq can strengthen its support for minority communities.

Staal also met with United Nations representatives who are implementing U.S.-funded stabilization programs in Anbar, Ninewa, and Salah ad Din provinces.  He affirmed the U.S. government’s pledge to provide an additional $150 million to this effort.

With this new infusion of funds, the United States will have provided more than $265 million for stabilization projects and a separate $1.7 billion throughout Iraq for humanitarian assistance to Iraqis who were displaced by the ISIS threat beginning in 2014.

On December 6, Staal traveled to Erbil for a closer look at U.S. assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.  After an initial meeting with the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, he sat down with NGO leaders and representatives from the Christian, Yezidi, Sabean-Mandean, Kakai, Baha’i, Zoroastrian, and Jewish communities to hear their concerns and needs post-ISIS.

By John Lee.

The 12th Economic Forum of the Iraqi-French Council of Businessmen [Iraqi-French Business Council] was held recently in Baghdad.

Dr. Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC) opened the forum with a welcoming speech to the attendees including the Iraqi Minister of Trade, French State Minister for the Foreign Trade Affaires, the Iraqi Governor of the Central Bank and a number of governors, Vice Ministers, Consultants, Director Generals, Heads of Provinces’ Councils, Chairmen of Commercial Chambers and Unions, company owners and businessmen.

Mr. Jack Batist Lomowan, French State Minister for the Foreign Trade Affaires concentrated in his speech on the deep relation between the two countries and the serious wish of both governments to enhance this relation in various fields disregarding the big challenges Iraq is facing now.

He considered this meeting as a step towards the next donors’ conference in Kuwait. He also mentioned the most important French companies which are interested in working in Iraq in addition to the new ones that are eager to start business here. Oil & Gas, energy, water, and infrastructure are main sectors in Iraq in addition to agro industries and medication plus having the French TALS Co. for fund Insurance and protection for the French companies working in Iraq as France has landed Iraq $450-billion aiming at supporting the Iraqi-French relations specially after the Iraqi Prime Minister visit to Paris last October.

He ended his speech by referring to the importance of mutual trust bursting from real political desire of the two leaders to move ahead with the two countries relation and find mutual responsibility and in common interests.

Mr. Raghib R. Blaibil, head of The Iraqi- French Council of Businessmen, considered this forum is a precious opportunity for Iraqi and French businessmen to meet and discuss the fruitful business potential for both sides. He also mentioned the improvement in the economic situation after defeating ISIS in Iraq and the victory our security forces achieved on the ground.

The will be for reconstructing, bringing the displaced back to their homes and the elevated oil price are strong factors encouraging us to invite the French companies to work and invest all over Iraq strongly and freely with no hesitation or fear.

Mr. Blaibil addressed the French airlines companies to start a direct line between Baghdad and Paris after the Iraq opened its airs to the international civil aviation.

The Iraqi-French Council of Businessmen representative Mr. Arnold Brolack inquired about sectors Iraq is willing to invest with the French side and what Iraqi aid is available to achieve tangible results after unifying the two parties’ views.

Mr. Ali Al Alaq, Governor of the Central Bank, long speech emphasized on the successful financial policies of the Central Bank of Iraq during the past years. These policies, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, saved Iraq from the sudden oil price drop shock and unstable economic situation.

Dr. Mahir Hamad, Vice Minister of Finance, and Mr. Faisal Al Haimis, Director General of the Trade Bank of Iraq gave their speeches too.

Dr. Sami R. Al Araji ended the first session works with a detailed presentation of strategic opportunities available for investment in Iraq.

The second session started later where bilateral discussions between the Iraqi and the French parties in different economic sectors took place.

French Alstom Transport Co. signed two memoranda of understanding with local governments in Baghdad and Basra provinces to build modern metro with international specifications.

(Source: National Investment Commission)

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between Dec. 11-14, conducting 42 strikes consisting of 53 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Yesterday in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 13 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, nine strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units and destroyed six ISIS vehicles and a fighting position.
  • Near Tanf, a strike destroyed a weapons cache and two ISIS caves.

On Dec. 13, coalition military forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 17 engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Abu Kamal, nine strikes engaged nine ISIS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS vehicles and an ISIS headquarters.
  • Near Tanf, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS vehicles, four cave entrances and a tactical vehicle.

On Dec. 12,, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged seven ISIS tactical units and destroyed two ISIS vehicles and a heavy weapon.

On Dec. 11, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets near Abu Kamal. The strikes engaged five ISiS tactical units and destroyed three ISIS heavy weapons.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes in Iraq yesterday.

On Dec. 13 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Rutbah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.
  • Near Tuz, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS tents and a bunker.

On Dec. 12, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets:

  • Near Baghdadi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.
  • Near Rutbah, a strike destroyed two ISIS-held buildings.

On Dec. 11, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets near Hawija. The strike engaged an ISiS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS meeting facilities.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

Abadi: The world owes Iraq its sacrifices and suffering and its fight against terrorism

He called for creating a good environment for the citizen
Baghdad / Follow-up morning

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi said Iraq’s move towards reconstruction and concern for the environment, which was neglected because of the wars, pointing out that the main reasons for the entry of terrorism into Iraq is corruption, while stressing that the Peshmerga is part of our armed forces, pointed out that the great Iraqi successes call for the international community To stand with Iraq, calling for work on sustainable development and human and create a good environment for the citizen.

"Iraq has cleared its territory of terrorists and moved towards reconstruction and concern for the environment that has been neglected for decades by wars," Abadi said on the sidelines of
the Paris Climate Conference, just before his visit to the capital and his return to Baghdad.

"The world owes Iraq its sacrifices. Suffering and the fight against terrorism. "
Abadi added that «great Iraqi successes call on the international community to stand with Iraq», pointing out that «there is an international trend to support Iraq,

and we benefit from the atmosphere of international meetings to create an environment conducive to investment and to support the economy and reconstruction of Iraq, and initiatives to support Iraq has now begun».

"The fight against corruption is part of the reconstruction and stability. If there is corruption, there can be no reconstruction and stability in the country," he said. "One of the reasons for the entry of terrorism into Iraq is corruption and fighting it is an essential and vital part."

"The Peshmerga is part of our forces, and we have lived like all the fighters. We fought alongside the Iraqi army and the rest of our forces in the liberation of Mosul.

There are those who wanted to differentiate between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army through the referendum and the army. Iraq should cooperate with it ».

"What was put forward at the Paris climate conference is that Iraq can be a shining picture of the countries that have been exposed to terrorism and how they have risen again, and terrorism is looking for other places, but it will not work as long as we are cooperating," Abadi said.

"We do not want the world to give up on us after we have accomplished our task of eradicating terrorism and liberating our territories and keeping Iraq united," he said, noting that "he is calling for a very serious terrorist organization and we should be careful about how to root out its roots not only militarily but intellectually. Its goals and its ability to recruit young people ».

"Iraq is a success story in eradicating terrorism, and we must preserve this achievement and preserve the unity of Iraq," he said. "Iraqis are equal in rights and duties regardless of religion or nationality. This message is important and we have established it in Iraq."

"Today, Iraq has changed, and the world is coming to him. We have identified the assistance of the international community to us when we fought and supported a group of nations. We did not expand it and did not fight on Iraqi soil other than the Iraqis," he said.

"We do not want the world to donate billions of dollars to us. We are realists and we need basic things," he said. "Iraq must remain a center of attention for its successful experiment. We must preserve this status. Iraqis are capable of renaissance."

The Prime Minister, before the end of his visit to the French capital presiding over Iraq’s delegation to the climate summit, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, who stressed the stand of the international organization with Iraq in the reconstruction and stability.

"Guterres congratulated Abadi on the great victory the Iraqis have achieved on a preacher," he said, adding that he "looks forward to Iraq being a successful example among nations."

"The two sides discussed during the meeting cooperation in the trial of terrorists and those who supported them, and fight their deviant ideas," the statement added.

Upon his return to Baghdad, the Prime Minister chaired the third session of the Supreme Council for Population in the presence of a number of ministers concerned.

"We are in a new phase after the completion of a military call, and we have to give hope to the citizen by advancing the work and making the priorities that he needs, and not only by numerical statistics, but by working on sustainable and human development and creating a good environment," Abadi said.

Of the citizen ».
The statement also referred to the government’s priorities in returning the displaced and informing them that their return to their homes and towns is better than staying in the camps.
"Abadi also listened to the ministers’ remarks and briefed on the national document on population policies prepared by the supervisory committee to draw up a promising population policy in Iraq over the coming years."


US State Department renews call for dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad


The US State Department renewed its call for the start of dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad to resolve differences and outstanding issues between them according to the Iraqi constitution.

"We have held dialogues with the Iraqi government and with the KRG and we have good and ongoing contacts with them," said ministry spokeswoman Heather Neuert in a briefing.

She added that last week, an Iraqi official visited the US State Department and met with the minister’s adviser in order to continue the dialogues between Erbil and Baghdad.


Abadi puts new conditions to receive the Kurdish delegation

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi put conditions on the Kurdish delegation, which plans to visit Baghdad soon so that he can meet him.

The MP for the Movement for Change Tafka Mohammed on Thursday the latest conditions of Prime Minister Haider Abadi to receive the Kurdish delegation, noting that Abadi will not agree to receive any delegation without achieving all its conditions.

"Abadi told the Kurdish parties that the conditions of receiving any Kurdish delegation will be accompanied by the cancellation of the referendum in a final manner and announce this in advance, as well as not to receive any delegation that is not united by all the Kurdish parties," she said.

She added: "Abbadi stressed that Baghdad does not bear any financial debts of the Kurdistan region to foreign oil companies or other debts as well as not to retreat from the delivery of all airports and border crossings and mixed areas."

"The Prime Minister has categorically refused to talk about any negotiations with Erbil without fulfilling all the conditions by Erbil, that all the commitments be documented in an agreement,"

adding that "some conditions are negotiable, such as handing over airport management and ports to joint destinations between Erbil And Baghdad as well as the realization of political understandings. "


A top Kurdistan Regional Government delegation, headed by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani held an extensive meeting with the Kurdistan Parliament Deputy Speaker Jaafar Ebrahim Eminky and heads of Parliamentary Committees of Natural Resources, Industry, Energy, Financial and Legal Affairs.

The KRG delegation included Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani and a number of senior officials.

In the meeting both sides discussed a number of pressing issues related to the current situation in the Kurdistan Region. They shed light on budget options for the 2018 fiscal year, relations with Baghdad, Kurdistan oil production, mechanisms to pay back debts, fighting corruption, transparency, reforms and efforts to protect the constitutional rights of the Kurdistan Region.

The KRG and Parliament officials stressed on the importance of continued cooperation and coordination between the Kurdistan Government and Parliament and agreed that priority should be given to securing the salaries of the public sector employees, conducting reforms and auditing in the payroll systems of the Region.

Both sides also agreed that relevant Kurdistan Parliament committees visit their federal counterparts in Baghdad to lobby against passing the draft 2018 federal budget bill that significantly reduced Kurdistan Region’s share of the federal budget.

(Source: KRG)