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Everything posted by Abarvets

  1. Iraq Still Considering Exxon Bidding Ban Posted on 23 March 2012. Tags: 4th round oil licences, Exxon, Exxon Mobil, ExxonMobil, Kurdistan The Iraqi oil ministry is said to be still considering whether to allow Exxon Mobil to bid in the country’s 4th energy licensing auction, lifting a ban that was imposed because of the deal it struck with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). “We are going to discuss this matter in the ministry and, God willing, we will take a decision,” oil minister Abdul Kareem Luaiby [Luaibi, Elaibi] told reporters on Thursday. Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Hussein al-Shahristani, said last month that Exxon would be banned from taking part in the country’s latest licensing round, which is scheduled for May. Luaibi confirmed an earlier statement that Exxon had sent a written letter to Baghdad on 5th March that it was suspending its operations in the Kurdistan region, but Kurdish officials have denied that Exxon has frozen its work in Kurdistan. Exxon has so far made no public comments regarding the suspension of its work in Kurdistan. (Sources: Reuters, Dow Jones)
  2. Separatism and Sectarianism in Barzani Speech Posted on 23 March 2012. Tags: Kurdistan, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Reidar Visser The following article was published by Reidar Visser, an historian of Iraq educated at the University of Oxford and currently based at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. It is reproduced here with the author’s permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. So, finally, Masud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has delivered his much-anticipated speech on the occasion of the Nowroz festival that marks the beginning of a new year in the extended Persian cultural sphere stretching from Kurdistan to Afghanistan. Much of the content of the speech was predictable simply because it involved reiteration of previously stated positions, if perhaps in somewhat more pitched variants than before. This included strictures on the concentration of power by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (including numerous erroneous descriptions such as saying Maliki “is” the defence minister etc.) as well as not-so-veiled threats about Kurdish secession if the problems persist (“we will turn to our people”). As usual, there are numerous problems in the way the Kurdish leadership appeal to the Iraqi constitution whenever they are in conflict with Maliki, including the contradictive statement “the Iraqi constitution is constantly violated and the Erbil agreement, which was the basis upon which the current government was formed, has been completely ignored.” With its creation of extra-constitutional institutions and its attempts to change the Iraqi state structure by fiat when in fact referendums are constitutionally required, the Arbil agreement is itself a veritable violation of the Iraqi constitution! Whether Barzani will make any progress with these threats remains unclear. As regards an actual move to unseat the government by withdrawing confidence in Maliki, the numbers are more or less as they were in the summer of 2010, when Barzani similarly talked tough but ended up supporting Maliki for PM anyway. The Kurds and Iraqiyya alone do not add up to reach the critical mark of 163 deputies needed to withdraw confidence in the government. Conceivably, there may be a slight gain in that some Badrists have defected to ISCI during their latest split (ISCI being the most pro-Kurdish Shiite party); conversely, though, we should not forget that fractures in Iraqiyya come prominently on display each time someone in the alliance talks about taking drastic action against Maliki. In that perspective, it is hard to see any difference between this threat from Barzani and his previous ones. However on another and arguably deeper level, Barzani is scoring some successes. Specifically, this relates to the contest of defining the parameters of Iraqi politics. What Barzani always does in his speeches is to portray Iraq as a triad of Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and Kurds. In his commentary on the Hashemi case, Barzani has complained about how the Kurds are being dragged into a conflict supposedly being fought between Sunnis (pro-Hashemi) and Shiites (anti-Shiite) – entirely disregarding the fact that the head of the Iraqiyya party to which Hashemi belongs is in fact a Shiite! This theme was also present in yesterday’s talk, in which Iraqi politics was once more reduced to a struggle between sects. Importantly, Barzani is winning not only the definitional battle over Iraqi politics. He is also transforming the character of the once-secular Iraqiyya party. Increasingly, whether voluntarily or not, Iraqiyya comes across as a pro-federal, Sunni party more than a secular and nationalist movement. Recently, in attempts to address the so-called “balance” problem in government – another Kurdish invention – Iraqiyya leaders have been counting Sunnis and Shiites in ways they themselves described as unthinkable just a few years ago. For his part, if he feels sufficiently threatened by Barzani et al., Maliki will probably turn to the Sadrists as his option of choice, something which again would underline sectarian polarisation. In a way, Barzani and the Kurds are honest. They often articulate their independence dreams. Similarly, that a Shiite party like ISCI sometimes talks like this is perhaps not so suprising either, since its sectarianism is often expressed very clearly. The more remarkable aspect in all of this is the constant fraternization by an avowedly secular and Iraqi nationalist party – Iraqiyya – with these basically separatist forces.
  3. SLC failure in running State behind targeting Barzani, says Atroushi Friday, 23 March 2012 12:13 | | | Baghdad (AIN) –The Kurdistani Alliance’s MP Farhad al-Atroushi described the political escalation by the members of the State of Law Coalition against the President of Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani as an “Attempt to cover their failure in running the State.” Atroushi stated to All Iraq News Agency Friday “”The SLC MPs attempt to cover their failure in running the State and their responsibility for stealing Iraqi revenues and wasting billions of dollars on services and security without reaching concrete results,” accusing the SLC of being responsible for “destroying the infrastructure in Iraq since 2003.” “We condemn the statements that targeted the President of Kurdistan Region Barzani and consider them part of the intellectual terrorism mentioned by Barzani,” according to MP Atroushi who stressed that “Some statements and reactions have violated morals, protocols and even tribal rules.” /End/
  4. Ahrar MP accuses Maliki's relatives of corruption Friday, 23 March 2012 14:54 | | | Baghdad (AIN) –MP Juad al-Hasnawy of Ahrar Bloc accused one of the Premier's relatives of "employing more than (3000) persons as policemen in the cadres of the Ministry of Interior in Karbala province." Hasnawy stated to All Iraq News Agency AIN on Friday "The Premier's brother in law has established new (Support Offices) in Karbala province, which are loyal to a well known political side and it pays IQD (500 000) as salary for each member," stressing that, "This matter is against the law and the Constitution because he is taking advantage from the post of the Prime Minister." He added "We are as Deputies of Karbala province have clearly noticed this issue and demanded to launch an investigation over it, but we received no responds for our demands about this matter which we consider a kind of corruption that deploying in many state institutions." /End/
  5. Bebel Retirement Directorate develops new system for retirees Friday, 23 March 2012 10:20 | | | Babel (AIN) –Head of Bebel Retirement Directorate Mohammad Kareem al-Rhayma established a new department in the directorate to be responsible for applying new system that allows retirees after 2006 to cash their pensions quickly. Al-Rheumy reported to (AIN) on Friday that “Babel province is the first to implement this system where the retirees can cash their pensions the same day it is approved by the financial departments in Baghdad.” “This system will reduce the waiting burden on the retirees till their pensions approved from Baghdad which takes months sometimes,” al-Rhayma added. /End/
  6. Kurdish State announcement to violate constitution, says Shiya Friday, 23 March 2012 10:54 | | | Baghdad (AIN) –The State of Law Coalition’s MP Abdul Abas Shiya assured that “Announcement of the Kurdish State at this time will be a violation for the Iraqi Constitution,” noting that “This step should be taken through amending the constitution or through political accordance.” He stated to All Iraq News Agency Friday “The last statements of the President of Kurdistan Region were hasty reaction over cancelling the oil contracts and ending operations of the US Exxon Mobile oil Company in Kurdistan Region because it violated the constitution by contracting with Kurdistan Region without referring to the Central Government.” “Barzani does not represent all the Kurds, since there are other parties participating in the Kurdistan Regional Government, represented by the Kurdish Opposition and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan headed by President Jalal Talabani,” he added, noting that “Barzani cannot announce the Kurdish State without resorting to these sides.” MP Shiya pointed out “Barzani demanded in his last speech to hold an urgent meeting for the three presidencies, but this matter is not possible at this time since Iraq is preparing to host the Arab Summit and there is not time for holding such a meeting.”/End/
  7. Thanks Stryker and Yota, Nice breakdown I caught that as well......... Yota I will have to read that budget article is Article 36 amendment the one dealing with Kurdistan? Will have to go back and look it up.
  8. Yota I need a little help here.......what is the Mecca Document in the Declaration of Baghdad? It is going to be issued after the summit? Steer me in the right direction, thanks!
  9. GM, remember there was much discussion in articles of how Iraq was not on the list of the summit? This was about 3-4 weeks ago. I believe they will part of item number 9. This does depend on currency values and ability to pay. They are not in a negotiating position at thess than a penny. Let us not forget the region has 2 other currencies that are now in the tank. You also have many governmental changes thanks to the arab spring. Not to mention that they did not have consensus when they met at OPEC prior to the Arab spring (first time ever). There will be some power plays here. Should be a very interesting summit.
  10. GM and thanks Yota. Now they are talking Syria. Well they already are doing border checks and have refused to let commercial trucks through. People yes, trucks no. This tells me again that the exchange rate should be higher than a dollar if the economic sanctions plan continues. Otherwise they are still able to conduct commerce at a profitable rate. Just my 2 cents.
  11. Permit me to help, they had a meeting today as well and one press release with regards to Afghanistan nothing about Iraq. However there was another closed door meeting: PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS AND AGENDA SECURITY COUNCIL SCHEDULED MEETINGS Thursday, 22 March 2012 10.00 a.m. 6738th meeting Interim Security Council Chamber GA-TSC-01 1. Adoption of the agenda 2. The situation in Afghanistan Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security (S/2012/133). Morning* 6739th meeting Interim Security Council Chamber GA-TSC-01 1. Adoption of the agenda 2. The situation in Sierra Leone Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (S/2012/160) Morning** Consultations of the whole (closed) Interim Consultations Room GA-TSC-02 - Sierra Leone (S/2012/160) - Other matters 4:30 p.m. Consultations of the whole (closed) Interim Consultations Room GA-TSC-02 - Briefing by DPA - Other matters ____ * To be held following the adjournment of the 6738th meeting. ** To be held following the adjournment of the 6739th meeting.
  12. That is interesting....... Thanks for the due diligence.
  13. the continued currency trading referred to above to the present day and talk about the intention of the government remove three zeros from the Iraqi dinar to up to levels comparable with the exchange rates of foreign currencies order back to the glory of the Iraqi dinar and weighs a healthy beautiful green turquoise. I love that last sentence!!!!!!!!!!!! Another great piece this morning!
  14. Thanks yota. Perhaps Stryker can shed some light when he checks in........ Love all the articles this morning. Former oil minister on HCL, 140 article, waiting on the chp 7 article........... I will be shocked with all of this info if they push it off much further into the future. They do like to surprise us though Have a great morning!
  15. GM Yota, As I am a little slow this am....... Are they referring to stream lining the government? Cutting positions eliminating departments etc. Is this in the budget or a seperate piece of legislation? Thanks!
  16. Thank you for the information.
  17. While it is possible that this event has nothing to do with the RV to close everything until the 1st is a bit on the long side. The article did also mention that the committees will still be working on summitt business. That tells me that they folks will still be on the road. I really do not believe that they will all be working from home. Having been involved in a Summit previously there is going to be a lot of traffic starting this weekend. Foreign press will arrive ahead of the leaders to set up their offices, security officials from the various countries shall arrive to sweep, lower level diplomats having meetings and making certain the boss looks good. These are just a few of the things, not to mention any entertainment that may correspond to the event. The cars have to be in place, the drivers, etc. the list goes on. We did have closures at the summit however, they did not occur until the first day of the Summit. Local businesses remained open to foot traffic only, everything else was in lockdown. It was amazing, but the days were long. I can only imagine what it will be like over there, not having hosted anything like this for some time. I wish them well and am still hopeful that the value will change prior to the event. I am a believer that they will be in a better position to negotiate with a currency worth more than a tenth of a penny.
  18. It could be the highlight, but he is currently in the region and was he not touring the border between Iraq and Kuwait? That was scheduled for this week yes? A little fuzzy with all the articles that I have read. Would love it to be before the summit personally. It would bring more to the table when Iraq is dealing with the other nations. They keep say how after the summit the economy will grow and the people will be pleased. Well if you can come to the table with a currency that is worth more than a penny you have negotiations. Less than a penny, why are you wasting my time. Just my 2 cents. Lorre Nicely said. I have heard that as well. I have also heard that all economic sanctions were lifted in Dec 2010, only the Kuwaiti issues remained. However, there are nations that will not recognize the currency as long as it is under chapter 7 I have heard. We all will know eventually.
  19. This is what I thought when I read the drive by chat he did this morning. We shall see. I looked on their press releases and they have done a few things and not released anything. I went according to the numbers and there is a gap. I know not everything is about Iraq but I am hoping against hope that one of them is!
  20. Fingers are crossed..... Yes, have been wondering all day. Would love to be a fly on the wall.......
  21. PROGRAMME OF MEETINGS AND AGENDA SECURITY COUNCIL SCHEDULED MEETINGS Wednesday, 21 March 2012 10.00 a.m. 6736th meeting Interim Security Council Chamber GA-TSC-01 1. Adoption of the agenda 2. Non-proliferation Briefing by the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuantto resolution 1737 (2006). Morning* Consultations of the whole (closed) Interim Consultations Room GA-TSC-02 - Sudan Sanctions Committee - Other matters 3:00 p.m. Consultations of the whole (closed) Interim Consultations Room GA-TSC-02 - 1701 report (S/2012/124) - Other matters _______ * To be held following the adjournment of the 6736th meeting.
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