Barzani Party: Oil files, budget and Article 140 has not been resolved with Baghdad

The Kurdistan Democratic Party, headed by Massoud Barzani, Saturday, the most outstanding issues between Baghdad and Erbil, despite the declaration of agreements on the opening of airports and ports, indicating that the agreement on managing the oil file and the application of Article 140 and determine the proportions of Kurdistan, the most prominent of these issues.

"The files of oil management and determine the federal gross product in Kurdistan and the application of Article 140 of the Constitution on the disputed areas and the proportion of the region of the budget is still stuck until after the elections despite the agreements," MP Najeeb Najib said in an interview with local media. Declared ".

"The agreement on the opening of airports and the delivery of border crossings entered into force after the arrival of federal officials from the departments of passports, customs, taxes and security to airports and ports."

She said that "Baghdad deposited about 400 billion dinars in the central bank in Arbil as a provision of salaries to employees of the region, but it needs exclusive approval from Prime Minister Haider Abadi to spend in the coming days."…%D8%A9-%D9%88/

Abadi: We will chase the big thieves and recover the money they seized


Received a call from the US Vice President and held a meeting with the directors of Baghdad
Baghdad / follow-up morning
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi vowed to hunt down the big thieves who seized the state land and citizens’ properties, stressing that he would challenge any law that could benefit from these thieves.

As he accelerated the completion of services projects in the areas of the outskirts of Baghdad and provide the necessary funding and financial allocations that have priority, US President Mike Pence, during a telephone conversation, led by Abadi in the victory against the «urging», reiterated his country’s continued support to Iraq in all areas.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Prime Minister, Dr. Haider al-Abadi, held a wide-ranging meeting with the district directors and municipal units in the city of Baghdad.

He said during the meeting that "Iraq has gone through a difficult stage and an existential and economic challenge. And we must work now to harness all the national capabilities and capabilities to provide services to citizens after the great victory achieved with the most sacrifices and the least potential ».

During the meeting, Abadi called on the district directors and municipal units in the city of Baghdad to "follow the field for every small and large, and be true to the promises in providing services and not to give promises can not be met, and away from partisan loyalties or work for electoral reasons at the expense of quality."

"The need to make maximum use of the available resources and the national effort." He stressed that "collection should not be limited to providing appropriate services, and not be tax to take payments without services and it is very necessary to stop waste in order to reach services to eligible citizens."

Abadi said: "We must take into consideration the need of citizens, but we must pursue the big thieves who seized the state land and the property of citizens, while at the same time distinguish them from the poor citizens in need of housing.

And also appealed the amnesty law, which unfortunately included the kidnappers and criminals, "vowing to pursue" the big thieves and recover the money they seized. "

Al-Abbadi listened to a detailed explanation of the reality of the services provided by Amina Baghdad and the Governor of Baghdad and the managers of the districts and municipal units.

The solutions were put in place and the allocations were made in the field of services, water networks, sewerage, tiling and other basic services inside and outside the city of Baghdad.

The Prime Minister urged the speedy completion of service projects in the outskirts
of Baghdad and the provision of funding for financial allocations, which is a priority.

He also stressed the rehabilitation and completion of hospital projects in the areas of seven wells and laboratories, in addition to the launch of allocations for cleaning efforts in the capital and other provinces.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Planning, Reconstruction and Housing and the deputies of a number of ministries and officials in the service departments.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Haider Abadi, on Thursday, the opening of the airports of Sulaymaniyah and Erbil for international aviation after the completion of legal and constitutional procedures by the federal control of the two airports, according to a statement of the Information Office.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi received a telephone call from US Vice President Mike Bens, praised Bens leadership of Abbadi in the victory against «Da’ash», stressing the continued support of his country to Iraq and renewed US President’s victory, .

"He expressed his admiration for the vision of the Prime Minister and his country leadership and for achieving community cohesion and his keenness to guarantee the rights of all components of the Iraqi people that he saw through the visit of Dr. Haider Al-Abbadi to Mosul."

He also praised the government’s steps in reopening Sulaymaniyah and Erbil airports, And stressed the support of his country for the unity of Iraq and sovereignty, "noting that" the leadership of Dr. Haider Abadi in this file proved to all the Iraqi people not to distinguish it to the component without another, "according to a statement to the media office of the Prime Minister.

Abadi stressed his keenness to consolidate democracy in Iraq and strengthen the institutions of the state and the importance of continuing the citizenship project to overcome sectarian and racist policies, praising the aspirations of young Iraqis aspiring to hold free and fair elections for a new Iraq.

The local government in Kurdistan aims to solve all the problems between the center and the region and to feel the Kurdish people that is an essential part of the state and the Iraqi society », noting that« the government is paying salaries of the staff of the region »,

and Abadi« he now has a strong army and military institution and the government is working On The further strengthening of the rest of the state institutions and the goal is to reach a sober political situation to prevent foreign interference, which seeks to weaken the sovereignty of the state ».

The Prime Minister also confirmed during the telephone call to the US Vice President, "the plan that was put in place to reduce the number of American advisers and trainers in Iraq after a crushing victory over the terrorist advocate, and that the presence of these trainers to support the Iraqi military and security institutions with international expertise in training and technical support»

Abadi stressed «the importance of consolidating economic and trade relations between the two countries, as Iraq hopes the US administration to encourage the private sector to invest in Iraq».

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

By Hayman Hassan.

The Iraqi Kurdish authorities owe many state employees months in back pay. The citizens of Iraqi Kurdistan owe the government a variety of fees. But right now, it seems nobody is getting anything.

In the semi-autonomous, northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan, there are a lot of debts to be paid – and everybody owes somebody money.

One of the most pressing issues is that of the partial payment of salaries to those employed by the government. Iraqi Kurdish teachers have recently been protesting about this again, causing the closure of some local schools, and other state employees have done so in the past.

As a result of its financial problems – caused, partially by the security crisis, a fall in oil prices and ongoing wrangling about their share of the national budget – the government of Iraqi Kurdistan decided to “save” employees’ salaries in 2016. This means that a part of any employee’s salary was paid to them as usual and the other part was withheld, with a view to returning it later. It was a debt that the Iraqi Kurdish government owed to its people.

Earlier this month, the authorities decided again to set up a whole new department – the department of government debt – to deal with this issue. They had announced they would do this last year but nothing really happened.

The department should log all of the money that the Iraqi Kurdish government owed and also what was owed to them. The staff salary “savings” are meant to be part of this but it’s hard to know how the department could enforce any exchange of cash. As yet, there is no dedicated bank account to deal with this issue and nobody knows when repayments might happen.

“The Kurdish government should pay their people back around US$10 billion, and then another US$10 billion to other investors,” Ali Hama Salih, the deputy head of the Iraqi Kurdish parliament’s finance committee and a member of the anti-corruption Change movement, told NIQASH. “But it has no mechanism in place to pay anything back.”

“When the government’s revenues increase again, it is going to pay those debts,” says Safeen Dizayee, the spokesperson for the Iraqi Kurdish government and a member of the region’s biggest political party, the Kurdish Democratic Party.

Over the past four years, nobody has managed to figure out how to pay government employees back what they are owed. One of the ideas suggested by provincial councils late last year was that the government deduct the money they owe citizens from citizens’ bills for power and water and for other payments such as traffic fines.

“We’ve suggested this project two times now,” says Khanzad Younis, a member of the Erbil provincial council. “But the government refused, saying such a thing cannot be implemented right now. That is despite the fact that we outlined all of the specific things the government and citizens should do to have these debts repaid.”

The Kurdish government told the council members that it would all take too long and that too much information was required, that nobody had. It also requires all employees to have bank accounts, which they do not. Additionally, the government still only has enough money to pay the proportion of salaries it is liable for.

Another proposal says that a bank account should be opened, and all of the savings should be deposited in there eventually. This would be impossible currently and anyway, the ministry of finance has all of the details of what is owed. Still, the idea was thought to be a symbolic step in the right direction. However, this has not happened either.

And there is an added complication. In November 2017, the government waived some payments that local tax payers were supposed to make to it. This includes some payments for water and power, marriage license fees and loans for housing, saying that those who had been impacted badly by the fight against the extremist group known as the Islamic State should not have to pay these.

The debt that locals owe the Kurdish government apparently totals around IQD3 billion (around US$2 million) and is slowly being paid back via small monthly instalments, Dizayee explains. But this is nothing when compared to the larger amount of back pay owed to employees.

“Given that the government is the executive authority in Iraqi Kurdistan it could issue new laws that allow it to collect those debts from citizens faster,” speculates Khalid Hayder, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan. “As for what the government owes its citizens, it is under pressure to pay that money back at some stage. If it doesn’t this creates a serious lack of trust and endangers the whole region’s economic future.”

Right now, it seems the Kurdish government is waiting for the federal authorities in Baghdad to pay them their share of the federal budget. But, he adds, when it comes, that is most likely to be used to pay the outgoing salaries of citizens and not the debts.

The Iraqi government passed its 2018 budget earlier this month, and although wrangling continues as to whether it is actually workable, one thing does appear to have been made clear: The percentage of the income that the Kurds get has dropped. Politicians have already warned that they won’t be getting enough to pay back the debts they owe their own employees and voters. The debtors’ standoff looks likely to continue.

In a phone call: Abadi asks the US Vice President to reduce US advisers

The Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi received a telephone call from US Vice President Mike Bens on Friday morning, and called Abadi during the call to a penny to reduce the number of American advisers in Iraq.

"US Vice President Mike Bens made a phone call to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, where he praised the victory of Iraq on a supporter," a statement issued by the office of the media chief said.

"The prime minister stressed the plan that was put in place to reduce the number of American advisers and trainers in Iraq after an overwhelming victory over the terrorist and that the presence of these trainers is limited to supporting Iraqi military and security institutions with international expertise in training and technical support," the statement said.

While Pence Park "the steps of the government in reopening Sulaymaniyah and Erbil airports for international flights and confirmed his country’s support for the unity and sovereignty of Iraq."

For his part, Abadi stressed his keenness to consolidate democracy in Iraq and strengthen the institutions of the state and the importance of continuing the citizenship project to overcome sectarian and racist policies, praising the trends of Iraqi youth who aspire to hold free and fair elections to come out a new Iraq.…7%D9%84%D8%B1/

Abadi directs the opening of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports officially

Prime Minister Haider Abadi, on Thursday, officially, the opening of airports of Kurdistan for international aviation.

The Information Office of Abadi said in a brief statement, received by "Eye of Iraq News," that "the Prime Minister directed the opening of airports Sulaymaniyah and Arbil international aviation after the completion of legal procedures and constitutional control of the federal airports."

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has announced the reopening of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports to international flights.

In a statement, he said he signed the decree “following the response of the local authorities in the Kurdistan region to restore the federal authority to the two airports in accordance with the constitution, in order to facilitate the travel of citizens through Erbil and Sulaimaniyah international airports, The Kurdistan Regional Airports will be under the command and control of the Federal Ministry of Interior.

Dr. Haider Al-Abadi has said that the system of verification (Paysys) for the airports of the province and its frontier will be linked to the main system in Baghdad, as it is the case in other Iraqi ports and linking the passports and nationality departments and employees at the airports of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah in the Federal Ministry of Interior, according to the law.

He added that a higher committee will be set up to oversee the management of airports in the region and its borders crossings, ensuring compliance with federal standards, including representatives of all concerned authorities in the center and the region and report to the commander-in-chief of the armed forces or authorized person.

(Source: Office of the Prime Minister)

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 8th Mar 2018).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD939 (-0.5%) / $990 (-0.7%) (weekly change) (+15.7% and +18.5% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 9.9bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD6.9bn ($5.6mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • ISX announced that no bond from the first issue has been deposited due to the short listing period. ISX closed their trading channels on Mar. 5, 2018 for the first issued bond because the maturity date of the first issued bond is Mar. 14, 2018 according to the instructions of bonds trading.
  • The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) organized a workshop aimed at introducing the project to settle the salaries of state employees in the office of the province of Maysan. A number of Iraqi banks participated in the workshop. (CBI)
  • Erbil Bank for Investment and Finance (BERI), having IQD265bn paid-in capital, started depositing their shares and will start trading in the non-regular market on Mar 27, 2018. The price will be free for the first three sessions and then will have +/-20% price change limit.
  • Al-Khatem Telecom (TZNI) will hold AGM* on Mar. 13, 2018 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of TZNI starting on Mar. 8, 2018.
  • Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance (NGIR) will hold AGM* on Mar. 12, 2018 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of NGIR on Mar. 7, 2018.
  • Iraqi Agricultural Products (AIRP) will hold a GA on Mar. 8 to elect five BoD members, as private sector representatives. ISX suspended trading of AIRP on Mar. 5 and AIRP will resume trading on Mar. 11, 2018.
  • ISC decided on Mar. 4, 2018 to keep Zain Al-Iraq Islamic Bank for Investment (BZII) suspended from trading until the bank discloses the reason for not completing the quorum on Feb. 11, 2018.
  • Al Taif Money Transfer (MTAI), having IQD100bn paid-in capital, has completed procedures to convert the company from a money transfer company into an Islamic Bank. The name of the bank will be Al Taif Islamic Bank.
  • According to the letter of Companies’ Registrar published by the ISX on Thursday, Companies’ Registrar confirmed that Rabee Securities completed all the required legal procedures to convert the company from a Limited Liability Company into a Private Joint Stock Company by increasing its capital from IQD2.00 bn to IQD2.05 bn.
High-level government delegation to discuss the final touches to a comprehensive agreement in Erbil

The head of the Kurdistan Islamic Group, Ahmad Hama, on Sunday, the anticipation of the arrival of a high-level delegation from the Baghdad government to the Kurdistan region in the coming hours, pointing out that the delegation will discuss the conclusion of an oil agreement between Baghdad and Erbil after a semi-final agreement on the delivery of airports and ports.

Hama said in a press statement that "the Kurdistan region awaits the arrival of a high-level government delegation to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in the coming hours to complete the talks and conclude the final agreement on the sale and marketing of oil."

He added that "if the delegation succeeded in ending the differences on the sale and marketing of oil in the Kurdistan region, will shed the curtain on the deep crisis between Baghdad and Erbil after the installation of semi-final agreements on salaries of staff of the region and the delivery of airports and border crossings."

Hama said that "the atmosphere is very positive at the moment and encourages the parties to conclude a historic agreement prevents harm to the Kurdish citizen before the parties occupied the elections.…-%D8%A7%D9%84/

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

By Histyar Qader.

One might assume that the long-stalled Kurdish parliament would have other things to talk about: One of the most pressing issues up for debate revolves around banning porn websites.

At the end of January, 13 members of parliament in the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan submitted a memorandum to the presidency asking for porn websites to be banned. Seven of the 13 came from the region’s Islamic parties, which might reasonably be expected to have a religious objection to the porn sites.

But six of the MPs were from less religiously inclined political parties including the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the oppositional Change movement.

It’s actually an idea that was first mooted in 2015 but the Kurdish parliament stopped working, so it’s only just being brought back up now, says Najiba Latif, a member of one of Iraqi Kurdistan’s Islamic political parties and a signatory to the memo asking for the ban.

“We want to ban porn sites to prevent any young person from opening such a site,” Latif explained. “We feel these sites pose a danger to the young people of Kurdistan.”

“These sites are foreign to our society and they cause alienation among our young people,” added Awaz Hamid, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, noting that she is opposed to porn websites for sociological reasons not religious ones.

The memo-writers did not offer any scientific evidence to support their case, but Latif says that more work is being done and that this will include an opinion poll on the subject, before a draft resolution of the ban is read in parliament.

The whole issue was the butt of many jokes on Iraqi Kurdish social media, but it has also had serious ramifications, showing up the role that religion still plays in politics here.

Only one group in parliament has declared its opposition to the draft resolution. “The draft resolution has shown the reality of the Islamists and the supposed secular parties in Kurdish politics,” says Abu Karwan, a senior member of the Kurdish Communist party, which opposes the ban on porn.

“Such a ban is a violation of personal freedoms and the issues should not be handled this way. Given the current parliamentary set up the MPs won’t be able to oppose the resolution for fear of offending voters, most of whom are Muslim. And because elections are getting closer, this ban will also attract a lot more attention,” he points out.

Sarwad Salim, a Christian MP in Iraqi Kurdistan, points out that a better way to deal with this issue would be an educational campaign for local youth. Parliament shouldn’t be regulating this, he argues.

The kerfuffle about a ban on porn is just one example of the less important issues the Kurdish parliament is currently occupying itself with. “There are more important laws that affect the lives of citizens, but these have not been discussed by parliament,” says the head of the Kurdish parliamentarian’s union, Namaat Abdallah.

A lot of politicians want to keep away from those more important topics and they certainly don’t want to tackle controversial subjects shortly before the elections. Rules around a porn ban would be acceptable to most local voters as the majority are religious, he suggests. It’s an easy win.

Even if the legislation is eventually approved in Iraqi Kurdistan, it may not do much good. The Iraqi federal parliament also passed a resolution in 2015 to block porn sites. But locals keep finding ways to access them.

“In practice, this decision was not successful,” says Zana Rostai, a Kurdish politician in Baghdad. “So it was never enforced by the government.”

If the government passes the resolution then it will be our duty to enforce the rules, Omed Mohammed, the spokesperson for Iraqi Kurdistan’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, based in Erbil, told NIQASH.

“But in practical terms that is going to be very difficult. There are over three million porn sites in the world and it would be difficult to block such a huge number. If we use the word “sex” as a term for blocking, then it would be difficult for anyone to access anything, including scientific or medical research, online,” Mohammed points out.

This line of argument is clear to many locals and is part of the reason why they suspect their parliament is engaged in such useless debates. The aim is to create a fuss in the local media, to achieve at least something – such as passing this resolution – that most of the population will get behind and then tell voters about all they have accomplished, in the hopes of winning another seat.

“Political parties in Kurdistan are not honest with their voters,” says Omed Rafiq, a political scientist who heads a local think tank, the Centre for Future Research. “They are always afraid to clash with mainstream opinions and the resulting loss of votes. The existing confusion is all about scoring political points,” he concludes.

Baghdad shows the truth of the "agreement of principle" with Erbil: two files on the verge of resolution and another waiting

The media office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, on the Kurdish news reported the arrival of the governments of Baghdad and Erbil to a "preliminary agreement" on the payrolls and oil and border crossings, while stressing that the files of airports and salaries are about to resolve, .

The spokesman for the office Saad al-Hadithi, "The subject of airports in the Kurdistan region has reached its final stages and is about to be resolved," noting that "the salaries of the staff of the region will be launched soon, as confirmed by Prime Minister Haider Abadi at a press conference on Tuesday."

Al-Hadithi added that "with regard to the border crossings, the specialized committees are still meeting," stressing that "there is progress progress in this file, but I have no information on resolving."

The Kurdish agency "Dawaۆژژ" revealed earlier Thursday that the government of Baghdad and Erbil reached a "preliminary agreement" on the payroll files and oil, airports and border crossings.…%D9%8A-%D9%85/