By John Lee.

On Wednesday 24 July, Khaled T. Kanaan, Chairman of the Jordan Iraqi Economic Association (JIEA), met with HE Mr. Ali Mohsen Al-Alaq, Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI).

The meeting was a follow-up to the “Digital Transformation in Financial Sector Forum” held in Baghdad on 10 July, which was jointly organized between the JIEA and the Iraq Private Banks League (IPBL), supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group.

The meeting addressed the CBI strategy to move forward with their drive towards digital transformation in the financial sector.

The JIEA conveyed the message that Jordanian fintech firms will be more than ready to engage in any effort that will assist the Iraqi side in their drive.

(Source: Jordan Iraqi Economic Association)


Source: Iraq News

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TBI to lend $843m to Grain Board of Iraq

By John Lee.

The Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) has announced a loan of 1 trillion Iraqi dinars ($843 million) to the state-run Grain Board of Iraq, which is affiliated to the Iraqi Ministry of Commerce.

According to a press release, the loan is an effort to help Iraqi farmers for clear their dues and payments in accordance with the announcement made by the Iraqi Prime Minister recently under the government’s strategy aimed to support the Iraqi economy.

This initiative, which supports the agricultural sector, is aimed at enhancing production capacity and contributing to the sustainable development of the sector, which is a fundamental pillar of the Iraqi economy.

(Source: TBI)


Source: Iraq News

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IMF Concludes Consultation with Iraq

On July 19, 2019, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation [1] with Iraq.

An improved security situation and the recovery in oil prices have improved near-term vulnerabilities. Large fiscal and current account surpluses—around 8 and 6 percent of GDP, respectively—were recorded in 2018, allowing the government to retire domestic debt and accumulate fiscal buffers. Gross international reserves reached $65 billion by end-2018.

However, post-war reconstruction and economic recovery have been slow. Non-oil GDP rose by only 0.8 percent year-on-year in 2018 in a context of weak execution of reconstruction and other public investment. Overall GDP contracted by around 0.6 percent as oil production was cut to comply with the OPEC+ agreement.

The 2019 budget implies a sizable fiscal loosening that will reverse the recent reduction in vulnerabilities. Current spending is expected to increase by 27 percent year-on-year, in part due to a higher public sector wage bill, while revenues will be dampened by the abolition of non-oil taxes. As a result, the budget is projected to shift to a deficit of 4 percent of GDP in 2019, and reserves are projected to decline.

The fiscal and external positions are expected to continue to deteriorate over the medium term absent policy changes—with reserves falling below adequate levels and fiscal buffers eroded. Although the level of public debt will remain sustainable, gross fiscal financing needs will increase. Non-oil GDP growth is projected to reach 5½ in 2019 but subside over the medium term.

In a context of highly volatile oil prices, the major risk to the outlook is a fall in oil prices which would lower exports and budgetary revenues, leading to an even sharper decline in reserves or higher public debt. Geopolitical tensions, the potential for social unrest in a context of weak public services and lack of progress in combatting corruption pose further risks.

Executive Board Assessment [2]

Executive Directors agreed with the thrust of the staff appraisal. They were encouraged by the recent strengthening of Iraq’s economy but recognized that the country continues to face daunting challenges. Social conditions remain harsh, post-war reconstruction progress is slow, development needs are large, and institutional weaknesses are significant. Volatile oil prices and a difficult regional and geopolitical environment pose additional difficulties.

Directors encouraged the authorities to seize the opportunity presented by the improved security situation and higher oil prices to implement policies and structural reforms aimed at ensuring macroeconomic and financial stability, tackling long-standing social problems, and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth.

Directors emphasized that building a robust fiscal framework is essential to maintain fiscal and macroeconomic stability and strengthen buffers. They encouraged the authorities to adopt a risk‑ and rules-based approach to fiscal policy as part of broader reforms to manage oil revenue more effectively, reduce tendencies for procyclicality, and shift to a more growth-friendly composition of expenditure. Directors supported scaling up reconstruction and development expenditure gradually in line with improving absorptive capacity.

They underscored the need to strengthen public financial management to ensure public spending is appropriately monitored and to reduce vulnerabilities to corruption. In this context, Directors welcomed the newly adopted General Financial Management Law and encouraged its full implementation.

Directors emphasized that gradual fiscal adjustment, including containing current primary spending and boosting non-oil revenues is essential for maintaining fiscal and debt sustainability. They recommended that spending measures should give priority to containing the growth in wage bill and lowering subsidies to the electricity sector. Directors emphasized that the poorest and the most vulnerable must be protected from the adjustment process.

Directors underscored that an overhaul of the banking sector is necessary to maintain financial stability. They encouraged the authorities to restructure the large state-owned banks, enhance their supervision, and implement other reforms to increase financial intermediation. Directors highlighted the benefits of increasing financial inclusion, especially for the SME sector, which has a large potential to absorb entrants to the labor market.

Directors agreed that building public institutions and enhancing governance is key for success, and highlighted the scope for Fund capacity development to support these efforts. They welcomed progress in developing an anti-corruption framework and called for further modifications to the legal regime for combatting corruption coupled with stronger coordination between the relevant government agencies, while continuing to strengthen the framework for Anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Directors also recommended strengthening Public Investment Management framework to ensure that spending is well directed and that donor funds targeting reconstruction are put to the most efficient use.

Directors looked forward to continued close engagement between the authorities and the Fund in the context of post program monitoring.

 

Iraq: Selected Economic and Financial Indicators, 2015–24

(Percent of GDP, except were indicated)

Projections
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Economic growth and prices
Real GDP (percentage change) 2.5 15.2 -2.5 -0.6 4.6 5.3 2.6 2.3 2.1 2.1
Non-oil real GDP (percentage change) -14.4 1.3 -0.6 0.8 5.4 5.0 4.1 3.4 2.7 2.7
GDP deflator (percentage change) -26.1 -13.4 14.6 15.4 -4.5 2.3 2.6 2.8 3.1 3.3
GDP per capita (US$) 5,047 4,843 5,263 5,882 5,728 6,017 6,172 6,326 6,486 6,666
GDP (in ID trillion) 207.2 206.7 231.0 265.0 264.8 285.4 300.4 315.9 332.3 350.4
Non-oil GDP (in ID trillion) 137.3 138.3 140.8 145.6 158.1 173.2 188.1 202.8 217.1 232.6
GDP (in US$ billion) 177.7 175.2 195.5 224.2 224.1 241.5 254.1 267.3 281.1 296.5
Oil production (mbpd) 3.72 4.63 4.47 4.41 4.59 4.84 4.93 5.01 5.10 5.18
Oil exports (mbpd) 3.35 3.79 3.80 3.86 4.03 4.25 4.33 4.40 4.47 4.55
Iraq oil export prices (US$ pb) 1/ 45.9 35.6 48.7 65.2 56.0 55.8 54.9 54.4 54.4 54.8
Consumer price inflation (percentage change; end of period) 2.3 -1.5 0.2 -0.1 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Consumer price inflation (percentage change; average) 1.4 0.5 0.1 0.4 0.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
National Accounts
Gross domestic investment 24.9 20.8 16.7 12.9 18.8 16.7 16.0 15.6 15.6 15.4
Of which: public 15.6 11.5 8.3 5.3 10.6 8.4 7.5 7.0 6.8 6.6
Gross domestic consumption 81.2 87.0 80.8 79.1 84.5 85.4 86.8 87.9 88.6 89.6
Of which: public 22.6 22.6 21.8 21.2 26.5 26.3 26.4 26.2 26.2 26.3
Gross national savings 18.4 12.5 18.6 19.8 13.6 12.5 11.7 11.1 10.3 9.4
Of which: public 3.1 -2.0 7.0 13.4 6.5 5.2 4.1 3.2 1.8 0.8
Saving – Investment balance -6.5 -8.3 1.8 6.9 -5.2 -4.2 -4.3 -4.6 -5.3 -6.0
Public Finance
Government revenue and grants 30.6 26.8 33.0 39.8 40.5 39.6 37.9 36.5 35.5 34.6
Government oil revenue 27.8 22.9 28.9 36.7 37.2 36.3 34.5 33.1 32.0 31.0
Government non-oil revenue 2.8 4.0 4.2 3.1 3.3 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.5
Expenditure, of which: 43.4 40.7 34.6 32.0 44.6 43.1 41.2 40.5 40.5 40.5
Current expenditure 27.8 29.3 26.4 26.7 33.9 34.7 33.6 33.5 33.7 33.9
Capital expenditure 15.6 11.5 8.3 5.3 10.6 8.4 7.5 7.0 6.8 6.6
Overall fiscal balance (including grants) -12.8 -13.9 -1.6 7.9 -4.1 -3.5 -3.3 -4.0 -5.0 -5.9
Non-oil primary fiscal balance, accrual basis (percent of non-oil GDP) -46.5 -43.3 -39.4 -42.4 -56.9 -52.1 -49.2 -47.1 -46.2 -45.3
Adjusted Non-oil primary fiscal balance, accrual basis (excl. KRG, percent of non-oil GDP) 2/ -44.7 -43.3 -39.4 -40.5 -50.1 -46.0 -43.6 -41.8 -41.0 -40.2
Adjusted non-oil primary expenditure (excl. KRG, percent of non-oil GDP) 3/ 48.9 49.2 46.3 46.2 55.6 51.5 49.1 47.2 46.3 45.5
Adjusted non-oil primary expenditure (excl. KRG, annual real growth, percent) 3/ -24.7 0.9 -4.5 2.8 29.9 -0.6 1.4 1.6 3.1 3.2
Memorandum items
Total government debt (in percent of GDP) 4/ 56.2 64.2 58.9 49.3 51.4 50.5 50.6 51.5 53.6 56.4
Total government debt (in US$ billion) 4/ 99.9 112.5 115.2 110.4 115.3 121.9 128.5 137.5 150.7 167.3
External government debt (in percent of GDP) 37.2 37.1 35.6 30.6 32.2 31.5 30.5 28.4 26.8 24.9
External government debt (in US$ billion) 66.1 65.0 69.5 68.7 72.2 76.2 77.6 75.8 75.3 73.8
Monetary indicators
Growth in reserve money -12.0 9.2 -4.4 6.7 2.5 5.4 4.7 4.9 5.1 4.6
Growth in broad money -9.1 7.1 2.6 2.7 2.5 6.2 5.4 6.0 5.9 5.3
External sector
Current account -6.5 -8.3 1.8 6.9 -5.2 -4.2 -4.3 -4.6 -5.3 -6.0
Trade balance -0.1 -1.7 7.6 13.4 3.5 4.1 3.2 2.0 1.3 0.5
Exports of goods 31.8 28.6 34.8 41.2 37.0 36.2 34.4 33.1 32.0 31.2
Imports of goods -31.9 -30.3 -27.1 -27.8 -33.5 -32.0 -31.2 -31.1 -30.8 -30.7
Overall external balance -6.7 -3.7 2.5 6.3 -2.5 -1.1 -1.6 -3.5 -3.8 -4.7
Gross reserves (in US$ billion) 54.1 45.5 49.4 64.7 57.2 53.5 48.5 38.8 28.2 14.3
Total GIR (in months of imports of goods and services) 9.3 7.8 7.3 8.0 6.8 6.2 5.5 4.2 2.9 1.4
Exchange rate (dinar per US$; period average) 1,166 1,180 1,182 1,182 1,182 1,182 1,182 1,182 1,182 1,182
Real effective exchange rate (percent change, end of period) 5/ 6.5 1.8 -5.1 4.9
Sources: Iraqi authorities; and Fund staff estimates and projections.

1/ Negative price differential of about $3.6 per barrel compared to the average petroleum spot price (average of Brent, West Texas and Dubai oil prices) in 2018-23.

2/ Adjusted to exclude (i) full year estimates of federal government transfers to the Kurdistan Regional Government, and (ii) non-oil tax revenues from the KRG to the federal government. In 2014 and 2015, actual transfers were made for only 2 and 5 months, respectively.

3/ Adjusted to exclude full year estimate of federal government transfers to the Kurdistan Regional Government. In 2014 and 2015, actual transfers were made for only 2 and 5 months, respectively.

4/ Includes arrears. The debt stock includes legacy arrears to non-Paris Club creditors on which the authorities have requested (but not yet obtained) Paris-Club comparable relief. Implementing comparable terms will substantially reduce debt (e.g. by 15 percent of GDP in 2017).

5/ Positive means appreciation.

 


[1] Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board.

[2] At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country’s authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/misc/qualifiers.htm .

(Source: IMF)


Source: Iraq News

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US Sanctions Four Iraqis

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two militia figures, Rayan al-Kildani and Waad Qado, and two former Iraqi governors, Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan and Ahmed al-Jubouri, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.

“The United States is taking action against four individuals in Iraq implicated in serious human rights abuse or corruption,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “We will continue to hold accountable persons associated with serious human rights abuse, including persecution of religious minorities, and corrupt officials who exploit their positions of public trust to line their pockets and hoard power at the expense of their citizens.”

Many of the corruption- and abuse-related actions committed by these sanctioned individuals occurred in areas where persecuted religious communities are struggling to recover from the horrors inflicted on them by ISIS.  Therefore, today’s sanctions demonstrate solidarity with all Iraqis who oppose corruption and human rights abuse undertaken by public officials, and underscore the Administration’s commitment to support the recovery of persecuted religious communities in Iraq.

As a result of today’s actions, all property and interests in property of these individuals, and any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by these individuals, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit any dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked persons.

RAYAN AL-KILDANI

Rayan al-Kildani (al-Kildani) was designated for being a foreign person who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse.

Al-Kildani is the leader of the 50th Brigade militia.  In May 2018, a video circulated among Iraqi human rights civil society organizations in which al-Kildani cut off the ear of a handcuffed detainee.

The 50th Brigade is reportedly the primary impediment to the return of internally displaced persons to the Ninewa Plain.  The 50th Brigade has systematically looted homes in Batnaya, which is struggling to recover from ISIS’s brutal rule.  The 50th Brigade has reportedly illegally seized and sold agricultural land, and the local population has accused the group of intimidation, extortion, and harassment of women.

WAAD QADO

Waad Qado (Qado) was designated for being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to the leader’s or official’s tenure.

Qado is the leader of the 30th Brigade militia.  The 30th Brigade has extracted money from the population around Bartalla, in the Ninewa Plain, through extortion, illegal arrests, and kidnappings.  The 30th Brigade has frequently detained people without warrants, or with fraudulent warrants, and has charged arbitrary customs fees at its checkpoints.  Members of the local population allege that the 30th Brigade has been responsible for egregious offenses including physical intimidation, extortion, robbery, kidnapping, and rape.

NAWFAL HAMMADI AL-SULTAN

Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan (al-Sultan) is designated for being a foreign person who is a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery.

Al-Sultan is a former governor of Ninewa Province, Iraq.  Following a ferry accident in Ninewa’s capital, Mosul, that killed nearly 100 people, Iraq’s parliament removed al-Sultan from office.  The ferry, loaded to five times its capacity, had been carrying families to an island on the Tigris River when it sank.  Iraqi authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the former governor, who fled shortly after the accident.

In a letter to Members of Parliament after the ferry accident, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi accused al-Sultan of negligence and dereliction of duty, and said there was evidence the former governor was misusing funds and abusing his power.  On March 27, 2019, the Ninewa investigations court said the former governor and several other officials were suspected of misusing their powers and wasting public money.

Al-Sultan has faced allegations of widespread corruption since 1994.  He was removed from his first post as mayor because of corruption and a conviction on smuggling charges.  In 2017, the United Nations Development Program suspended reconstruction projects after multiple allegations of al-Sultan siphoning off United Nations funds.

AHMED AL-JUBOURI

Ahmed al-Jubouri (al-Jubouri) is designated for being a foreign person who is a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery.

Al-Jubouri, also known as Abu Mazin, is a former governor of Salah al-Din, Iraq, and current Member of Parliament who has engaged in corruption.  Al-Jubouri was removed as governor and sentenced to prison in July 2017 upon conviction for misusing authority and federal funds and appropriating land for personal use.  Al-Jubouri has since been released.  Al-Jubouri has been known to protect his personal interests by accommodating Iran-backed proxies that operate outside of state control.

GLOBAL MAGNITSKY

Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, on December 20, 2017, the President signed E.O. 13818, “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption,” in which the President found that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, has reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems.  Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets.  The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.

To date, OFAC has sanctioned 113 individuals and entities pursuant to E.O. 13818.  These designations are in addition to the numerous human rights- or corruption-related designations Treasury has issued under various other sanctions authorities.  In total, since January 2017, Treasury has taken action against more than 680 individuals and entities engaged in activities related to, or directly involving, human rights abuse and/or corruption.  The Treasury Department has also published advisories to U.S. financial institutions on human rights abuses enabled by corrupt senior foreign political figures and their financial facilitators that can be found here, as well as advisories related to some of the programs listed above, which can be found here.

View identifying information on the individuals designated today.

(Source: OFAC)


Source: Iraq News

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Iraq to Import $5bn Gas, Electricity from Iran

By John Lee.

Iran’s gas and electricity exports to Iraq are reportedy expected to reach $5 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 21, 2020.

Mehr news agency quotes the Secretary General of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber, Seyed Hamid Hosseini, as saying that if Iraq agrees it is possible for Iran to barter the necessary goods in return for the gas and electricity, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) “should cooperate in this regard“.

(Source: Tehran Times)


Source: Iraq News

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Iraq, Lebanon, keen to Cooperate in Banking

By John Lee.

On Wednesday, the Lebanese President, General Michel Aoun, welcomed the Vice President of Iraq, former Iraqi Prime Minister, Dr. Iyad Allawi, with whom he discussed the bolstering of Lebanese-Iraqi relations in all areas, especially on economic matters.

Following his meeting with President Aoun, Xinhua quotes Vice President Allawi as saying:

“We have discussed with Lebanese President Michel Aoun the possibility of creating partnership between Lebanese and Iraqi businessmen and we will be following up on our agreements to make sure they are put in action very soon.”

He reportedly added that Iraq is keen to benefit from the Lebanese expertise in the banking sector.

(Source: Govt of Lebanon, Xinhua)


Source: Iraq News

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By John Lee.

The Jordanian-Iraqi Forum on digital transformation in the financial sector was held on Wednesday in Baghdad.

It was organized as part of the partnership between Jordan’s Information and Communications Technology Association (int@j), the Jordanian-Iraqi Economic Association, the Iraq Private Banks League, and the International Finance Corporation, and saw the participation of 30 Jordanian IT companies.

Through the forum, int@j aims to assist Jordanian IT companies enter the Iraqi market.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors at int@j, Dr. Bashar Hawamdeh, said that the company’s role in organizing the forum is part of their efforts to bolster networking among Jordanian companies and Iraqi banks and others operating in the financial sector. int@j’s role in organizing the forum comes as well amidst efforts to enable Jordanian companies to offer their expertise in digital transformation and technology to Iraqi sectors more broadly, particularly considering there exists an urgent need on the Iraqi side to implement digital transformation projects.

Dr. Hawamdeh noted that the Iraqi market is an important market to Jordanian companies, as those companies possess significant expertise in systems building and management. He added that Jordanian companies have been instrumental in developing e-governance for states in the region and have assisted in building systems that serve digital transformation.

He added that the forum is an opportune time for Jordanian companies to explore opportunities related to cooperation and sharing of expertise, especially considering the faith the Iraqi market has in Jordanian expertise in all areas.

The following Jordanian companies are taking part in the forum: Access 2 Arabia, Bridges PR and Events, Globitel, Green Circle Co., Hayyan Horizons, MenalTech, HyperPay, MadfooatCom, Jordan Payments and Clearing Company (JoPACC), Middle East Payment Services (MEPS), and Quality Business Solutions.

Also participating in the conference are: Real Soft Advanced Applications, Sidra Electronic Payment Software, Synaptic Technologies, Trismart, VTEL Holdings, dot.Jo, Jordan Data Systems, Takamol, ProgressSoft, Al Bayanat Al-Raqamiah for Information Technology, Image Technologies (ITECJ), OPTIMIZA, Oracle, Jordan Systems Consulting Co, OFFTEC, Dell, KPMG Jordan, Virtual/Al-Nayi for Informational and Communications Consulting, and Mawdoo3.com.

(Source: int@j)


Source: Iraq News

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Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) Expanding Abroad

By John Lee.

The state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) is reported to be planning to expand its operations in China and the Gulf.

Chairman Faisal al-Haimus [al-Haimus] told Reuters that the bank want to increase revenues from retail banking and international operations from 25 percent to 30 percent by 2022.

He added that it plans to open a representative office in China in 2020, and will upgrade its license in Abu Dhabi from a “representative office” to “asset management company“.

More here.

(Source: Reuters)


Source: Iraq News

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The Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies has just published a new report from our Expert Blogger Ahmed Tabaqchali:

The current debate over the interpretation of the 2019 budget that governs the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) share of the federal budget in return for contributing 250,000 bbl/d to federal oil exports has echoes of the first conflict in April 2012 on the issue.

The adept quote above by the International Crisis Group (ICC), in its description of the relationship between the two sides leading to that conflict, is as applicable today as it was then, and over the many repeats of similar conflicts in the intervening years.

The current flare up is initiated by members of the federal parliament against the Government of Iraq (GoI) over its continuing payments to the KRG, under the terms of the 2019 budget, while the KRG has not or refused to honour its obligations under the terms of the same budget.

The internal and external dynamics of the players on both sides, the federal politicians and the regional Kurdish politicians, follow the same trajectory that led to countless struggles over this issue and others since 2003. Each side is not only blind and deaf to the other side’s needs and motives but views it with suspicion and mistrust.

Unless something breaks the mould, either an intervention by Iraq’s international stakeholders or a change in the balance of relative power between the two, both will continue to think and act in the same manner that each had acted in the past, while still expecting a different outcome for the conflict or a different response form the other side.

Read Ahmed Tabaqchali’s full report here.


Source: Iraq News

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By John Lee.

The World Bank will reportedly lend a total of $200 million to Iraq for upgrades to its electricity grid.

According to Basnews, the agreement was signed by Finance Minister Fuad Hussein and Yara Salim, a representative to the World Bank.

There will be attempts to address the problem of power supply in Basra province and surrounding areas in collaboration with the World Bank,” the Iraqi minister added.

Iraq is expected to implement the projects within five years, and repay the debts in ten to 15 years.

(Source: Basnews)


Source: Iraq News

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