By John Lee.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi received Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi on Wednesday in Baghdad.

During the meeting they discussed strengthening the relations between the two countries and the opening of air routes, facilitating entering visas, as well as their joint role in maintaining security and stability in the region.

The Prime Minister welcomed the opening of the Omani embassy in Baghdad, which he said will contribute to increasing cooperation between the two countries.

(Source: Media Office of the Prime Minister)

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi has met with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his accompanying delegation during a visit to Baghdad.

The Prime Minister expressed his desire to deepen relations with Germany, and cited in particular the signing of a road map for the electricity sector with Siemens.

Minister Maas expressed German concern for stability in the region, and said he will visit Iran in the coming days to discuss this issue.

(Source: Office of the Prime Minister)

By John Lee.

Baghdad’s International Zone (Green Zone) is to be opened to traffic around the clock from tonight (Tuesday).

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi told a news conference on Monday evening that the move showed that the government is convinced the security situation in Baghdad is improved.

The high-security zone is home to the Iraqi parliament and many embassies, including the US embassy.

(Sources: AFP, Reuters)

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Has Russia begun to play a role in Iraq?

Member of the Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee Hakim al-Zamili announced May 9 that negotiations were underway to buy an S-400 air missile system from Moscow.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said during his meeting April 26 with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi that “the number of Russian companies in Iraq is on the rise.”

Ihsan al-Shammari, head of the Iraqi Centre for Political Thought, concurred. He told Al-Monitor that “Russia is working to compete with multinational companies in central and southern Iraq, particularly in the field of energy.

Click here to read the full story.

By John Lee.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit to Iraq on Tuesday, meeting with Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and senior officials.

The visit comes as Washington enforces sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

A transcript of Secretary Pompeo’s press conference after the meeting can be read here.

(Source: US State Dept)

By John Lee.

The President of Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov, has held a meeting with Prime Minister of Iraq Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad.

The meeting was attended by the Russian Ambassador to Iraq, Maksim Maksimov.

The parties discussed the current status of projects, among them the geological exploration at Eridu field (Block 10) in the south of Iraq.

Mr. Abdul-Mahdi expressed his support for the intention to deliver first production at Eridu field ahead of time.

(Source: Lukoil)

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi received Baroness Emma Nicholson, the Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), at his office on Sunday to discuss cooperation between Iraqi and British businesses, and proposed investment projects in Iraq.

The Prime Minister said that stability in Iraq provides an opportunity to increase reconstruction efforts, and welcomed cooperation between Iraqi and British companies through the IBBC.

Baroness Nicholson praised developments in Iraq, expressing the desire to expand cooperation and partnership further.

(Source: Media office of the prime minister)

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdonnaser Hemmati said Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi has voiced “his firm support” for the banking deal reached between the two countries on Tuesday night and called for its rapid implementation.

“After a long and four-hour meeting last night with the governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, I had a very good and constructive meeting with the Prime Minister of Iraq on Wednesday, February 6,” Hemmati said in a post on social media.

“I appreciated his determination to develop political and economic relations between the two countries,” he wrote.

“He declared his firm support for the two sides’ banking agreement and urged the governor of Iraq’s Central Bank to quickly pursue and implement the deal,” Hemmati stated.

In a meeting between Hemmati and his Iraqi counterpart, Ali Mohsen al-Allaq, in Baghdad on Tuesday night, the agreement to develop a payment mechanism aimed at facilitating banking ties was signed.

In addition to natural gas and electricity, Iraq imports a wide range of goods from Iran including food, agricultural products, home appliances, and air conditioners.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Iraqi President Barham Salih in Tehran in November, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the value of trade and economic interaction between Tehran and Baghdad stands at around $12 billion, adding that the two neighbors have the potential for a $20-billion trade target.

Rouhani hoped that cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad would contribute to regional security and stability.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has been in power since last October.

When he was appointed, he gave parliament 100 days to end its deadlock and begin implementing much-needed reforms.

That deadline has come and gone and some Iraqis say Abdul Mahdi hasn’t done enough.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad:

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has restructured the Supreme Anti-Corruption Council founded by his predecessor Haider al-Abadi in October 2015.

Abdul Mahdi said Jan. 9 that he would make every effort to allow the council to play a successful role. On Dec. 31, he said he wanted to re-establish the council in order to “take deterrent measures, unite the regulators’ efforts, address corruption and protect public funds.”

The council’s re-establishment comes after last year’s issuance of a report by Transparency International that ranked Iraq ranked 169th out of 180 countries in terms of corruption.

Click here to read the full story.