Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met a group of Iraqi tribal leaders from south of the country in the holy city of Karbala.

During the last leg of his meetings with Iraqi officials, elites and representatives of Iraqi society from various ethnicities and regions, Zarif sat for talks with the tribal leaders and clans’ representatives of southern Iraq in the consulate of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the holy city of Karbala.

During the cordial meeting on Wednesday, some of Iraqi tribal leaders and representatives expressed their views and ideas about the strong bonds between the two nations of Iran and Iraq, Foreign Ministry website reported.

For his part, Iran’s top diplomat referred to the close relations between the two nations over the past centuries and pointed out that nothing, even the imposed war by the former dictator of Iraq on Iran, could not separate the two nations.

“The love of the third Shiite Imam, Hussein ibn Ali (AS) has served as a bond connecting us together,” he said, adding that Arbaeen, the anniversary of 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS) is a beautiful picture of companionship, self-sacrifice, hospitality and sympathy between the peoples of Iran and Iraq.

He also thanked Iraqi tribes for their warm hospitality to the Iranian pilgrims flocking to the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala each year to commemorate Arbaeen.

Zarif then underlined that Iran and Iraq are now involved in the construction process and added the two sides should put their focus on improving the living conditions of their people through overcoming the current obstacles and preparing the ground for further economic cooperation.

“Building on the two sides’ capacities, we can increase our annual trade volume by 20 billion dollars and if the ground is prepared, the Islamic Republic is ready to proudly share its achievements in energy, engineering, agriculture and trade areas with the Iraqis,” he concluded.

Iranian foreign minister arrived in Iraq on Sunday afternoon and held separate meetings with various Iraqis officials from the central government in Baghdad to Kurdistan semi-autonomous region.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the fact that each year, 7 million Iraqis and Iranians visit each other’s country is a sign of the two neighboring countries’ close ties.

Speaking at a meeting with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbousi in Baghdad on Monday, attended by the chairmen of the Iraqi parliamentary factions, Zarif hailed the relations between the two countries, the parliamentary ties in particular.

The fact that seven million Iranians and Iraqis visit each other’s country each year is an outstanding sign of “the proximity of the two great nations,” Zarif said.

Every year, a large number of Iranians visit Iraq for pilgrimage. Iranian pilgrims travel to Karbala, Najaf and Baghdad to pay homage to Shia Imams buried in Iraq.

Iraqis visit the Iranian cities of Mashhad and Qom for pilgrimage.

The Iraqi parliament speaker, for his part, referred to the two countries’ common interests and praised Iran’s role in helping the Iraqi people defeat the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terror group.

Daesh militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.

However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa calling for fight against the militants, blunted the edge of Daesh offensive.

In November 2017, the self-proclaimed caliphate of Daesh collapsed after Syrian and Iraqi armed forces and their allies managed to recapture the terror group’s last strongholds in the two Arab countries.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

WFP supports Iraq in modernising its Public Distribution System

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Iraq have launched an initiative to digitise the national public distribution system (PDS).

The first phase of digitisation will reach nearly 1.3 million people in and around Baghdad and Dohuk.

The PDS is Iraq’s biggest social safety net, providing food entitlements to almost the entire population in Iraq of 39 million people.

WFP is providing technical support to the government as it starts using identification technology and a citizen database to reduce processing time, improve service and maximise resources.

“The initiative guarantees the most efficient use of government resources and ensures that the intended citizens receive their food entitlement,” said WFP Country Director and Representative in Iraq Sally Haydock at the launch in Baghdad. “We’re using digitisation to better serve Iraqi citizens through this key social safety net.”

With WFP’s support, the government will move to a digitised system where citizens’ data is safely encrypted and stored, and where security is enhanced using fingerprints or iris scans. This will allow the government to identify and remove duplicate records as well as conduct biometric verification at the time of food collection. The new system replaces the current paper-based system.

WFP is also designing a mobile application, myPDS, that people can use to collect their entitlements as well as to update their family information about births, deaths and marriages – at their convenience, using personal smartphones.

“The ministry is working on updating data as we put in place technology-based solutions that address people’s needs,” said the Iraqi Minister of Trade Mohammed Hashem Al-Ani.

WFP is partnering on the initiative with the Iraqi Ministry of Trade. Modernising the PDS is one of the priorities of Iraq’s National Poverty Reduction Strategy (2018 – 2022). WFP’s partnership with the ministry dates to the early 1990s when WFP established a database for the PDS.

(Source: WFP)

By John Lee.

Housing prices in Iraqi Kurdistan have reportedly increased by 20 percent in 2018, while rents has gone up by 15 percent.

Citing research from real estate company Baghi Khoshnawati, Rudaw says that demand for rental accommodation in the second half of 2018 has increased by 45 percent compared to the first half of 2018.

It adds that the rent for a house in the Italian Village in Erbil has increased from was $500 per month in May 2018 to $650 now, but “there are no houses available because of high demand“.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

(Picture credit: Jan Kurdistani21)

By John Lee.

NATO is to take the lead in the ‘train the trainer’ mission to teach Iraqi military instructors to impart key skills.

According to a press release from the Combined Joint Task Force (Operation Inherent Resolve), the project will involve such skills as countering improvised explosive devices, civil-military planning, armored vehicle maintenance, and military medicine to their trainees. NMI will train the ISF in multiple capacities and build upon their professional military academies, amongst other critical military schools.

The Coalition will build on the training which has already been delivered to more than 173,000 Iraqis.

(Source: Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve)

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By John Lee.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (pictured) has called for an investigation into the appointment of a deputy director general to the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA), citing allegation that the appointment was made under threat.

In a statement the Prime Minister said.

His Excellency Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi ordered to conduct an investigation on information indicating the issuance of an administrative order by the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority to appoint a person in the position of Deputy Director General of the Authority under threat and intimidation, to consider the administrative procedure related to the position of the Deputy of the Chairman of the Authority frozen and inoperable, and the previous contexts shall continue to work until the completion of the investigation and the confirmation.

“His Excellency called for taking the necessary measures and imposing the most severe penalties on anyone who uses the threat or uses his powers to compel citizens or state institutions to carry out actions contrary to law and order.

(Source: Media Office of the Prime Minister)

During December 2018 a total of 32 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 32 injured in acts of terrorism and conflict-related violence.

Ninewa was the worst affected Governorate with 26 civilian casualties (07 killed, 19 injured) followed by Baghdad with (17 killed and 03 injured) and Salahadin (03 killed and 03 injured). The figures include ordinary citizens and others considered civilian at the time of death or injury, such as police on non-combat functions, civil defence, personal security teams, facilities protection police and fire department personnel.

UNAMI views these figures as more than mere statistics. Every civilian death documented by UNAMI over the years represents a family grieving and struggling to come to terms with its loss. Each injury or maiming of a civilian represents immense individual and societal suffering,” Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said.

NOTE FOR INFORMATION:

UNAMI used to publish these casualty figures on a monthly basis as part of its broader efforts to highlight civilian protection needs, reduce civilian harm, and to encourage all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law. However, UNAMI’s monitoring in recent months has shown a steady reduction in civilian casualties. UNAMI has therefore decided that it will no longer publish these civilian casualty updates on a monthly basis but only if circumstances dictate. Whilst this decision is made in the context of a stabilizing security situation, and a consequent reduction in conflict-related harm to civilians, the conditions necessary for a sustained reduction in violence remain very fragile. UNAMI will, therefore, continue to monitor the situation.

*CAVEATS: UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in certain areas; in some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum. UNAMI was not able to verify casualty figures from Anbar Governorate and as a result they are not included.

(Source: United Nations)

How much was the fiscal deficit in Iraq’s budget for 2019?

1/2/2019

An increase in the rate of deficit and severe problems in the volume of revenues and transfers and allocations, as confirmed by the Finance Committee parliamentary balance of the two thousand and nineteen.


The member of the Committee Ahmed Al-Saffar that the balance of the year two thousand and nineteen has seen an increase in the fiscal deficit of twenty-six trillion dinars to twenty-seven trillion dinars,

noting that the government did not take all the proposals of the Commission in relation to the points supposed to be amended in the draft financial budget for the next year .


Al-Saffar also said that the draft budget law did not take into account the current situation of Iraq, problems in the liberated provinces, and the relationship between the governments of the center and the region, stressing that the parliamentary finance committee will have an opinion on the draft budget in its current form.

On the other hand, the member of the Finance Parliament Mohammed al-Darraji said that the budget law is very far from the approach of the government of Abdul-Mahdi, pointing out that the final accounts of previous governments did not reach Parliament until the moment and the new government to claim them.

Darraji added that the debts of Iraq exceeded 100 billion dollars in recent years and the central bank to support the budget through treasury bonds and raise the price of the dollar.

As for the problem related to the share of Kurdistan in the budget, a member of the Finance Committee on the mass of the Kurdistan Islamic Group, Ahmed Hama Rashid, the governments of Baghdad and Erbil to comply with all items of the federal budget regarding the share of the region of the budget and the payment of the obligations of the export of oil, Citizens or their living resources.


The Parliamentary Finance Committee hinted at the re-amendment of the federal budget allocations for the year two thousand and nineteen again to the government, because of the failure of the governmental committee to respond to most of its observations and suggestions of deputies.

https://www.alsumaria.tv/news/256800…D8%A7%D9%85/ar

Basra Council: We have 31 trillion dinars fed by the federal government in Baghdad
1/1/2019

The Basra Provincial Council announced on Tuesday the size of its dues paid by the federal government, pointing out that it exceeds 31 trillion dinars has not acted for the province since 2010 until now.

Council member Ahmed Abdul Hussein said in a statement to the "Information", "The Council of Basra has dues from the petrodollar up to 20 trillion dinars has not been received from the federal government in Baghdad since 2010 and until now,

" pointing out that "there are receivables estimated at 11 trillion Dinars of the border crossing funds that were not given by the previous government to Basra. "

He added that "the political conflict and the poor representatives of the people pushed the government in Baghdad not to spend those funds to Basra," noting that "these funds can solve all the problems in the province and completion of projects, as well as the possibility of reducing the spread of unemployment graduates in the province."

The Basra provincial council has attributed, on Monday, the return of protest rallies and peaceful demonstration in a number of areas of the province to the failure of the federal government to complete the stalled projects and provide services to citizens,

while the governments of Abadi and Adel Abdul Mahdi did not fulfill their promises to allocate ten thousand degrees of career for graduates of the province.

https://mangish.net/%D9%85%D8%AC%D9%…0%D9%85%D8%A9/