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SocalDinar last won the day on September 23 2015

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  1. Iraq's $772m Central Bank HQ project on track BAGHDAD, 4 hours, 30 minutes ago Iraq said work is progressing at a steady pace on the new head office building of Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) and is on track for completion by 2022, reported Reuters citing a senior official. The 37-storey building is located on the banks of the Tigris River in Central Baghdad. The 162.52-m-tall building, which boasts a 93,552-sq-m area, is being built at an estimated cost of $772 million, it stated. Enabling and deep foundation works have already been completed on the project, it added. CBI had commissioned the late Iraqi-British architect Dame Zaha Hadid in 2010 to design the project, which would cater to the bank's future needs while also making an "architectural statement about the bank's role in the Iraqi economy," revealed Saleh Mahood Salman, CBI's director general of administration. And in February 2012, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) was awarded the contract for the design stage of the new building following the completion of the brief development. ZHA is leading an international team of consultants comprising Adams Kara Taylor, Max Fordham, Newtecnic, DEGW, Gross Max, Davis Langdon, Arup, Warringtonfire, Winton Nightingale, and A2 Project Managers, said Salman. Five years later, Azerbaijan-based Daax Construction was awarded the main contract in 2017, he stated. The project features a fully automated vault, state-of-the-art cash processing systems, innovative fire and security systems, he added.
  2. I used to hang out, skate and surf in Venice and Santa Monica during the Dogtown years. They were both great places. Not so much anymore. Very dirty with a huge homeless population. Place smells like urine everywhere with the occasional hypodermic needle to be found. It's pretty sad. Its a huge problem and yet our legislature is more concerned about giving out straws at restaurants. I try to stay west of PCH and south of LAX.
  3. I’m in Manhattan beach!
  4. THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > BUSINESS Iraq sees $53b deal with ExxonMobil, PetroChina very soon Published: May 8, 2019 Deal will allow Iraq to generate 750 million standard cubic feet of gas per year. PHOTO: REUTERS BAGHDAD: Iraq Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban said on Wednesday he expects his ministry to sign an initial deal with ExxonMobil and PetroChina “very soon”, but did not give a specific date. “We have managed to take a step forward in resolving some lingering issues in the deal,” Ghadhban said at an oil ministry event. Once the talks end, the initial deal will be studied by the ministerial energy committee before referring it to cabinet for approval, Ghadhban added. Ghadhban said the deal with Exxon and PetroChina would allow Iraq to generate 750 million standard cubic feet of gas from the two oilfields per year. Iraq PM heads to oil-rich Basra after violent protests On Tuesday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said Iraq was close to signing a 30-year energy agreement with both companies, for $53 billion. Iraq expects to make $400 billion over the 30 years the deal is in effect, the prime minister said. The southern mega-project involves the development of the Nahr Bin Umar and Artawi oilfields and an increase in production from the two fields to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from around 125,000 bpd now, Abdul Mahdi said. The project is crucial to supplying water to oilfields in the south in order to boost pressure and keep production steady. Media reports had quoted Iran’s ambassador in London on Monday as saying the United States would grant waivers to Iraq allowing it to deal with Iran economically, in exchange for Baghdad signing an oil deal with Washington. “Talks now between the oil ministry and ExxonMobil and PetroChina are focused on how to split profits if oil prices rise or decline,” Abdul Mahdi said in response to a Reuters’ question on the obstacles holding up a final agreement. “The deal lasts for 30 years and such financial details are sensitive and should be given more discussions,” he added. Letter of protest: Foreign media want Walsh back in Pakistan Iraq is the second largest oil exporter in OPEC and has long-term aims to boost output curtailed by decades of war and sanctions. Such projects are among the most valuable prizes in the world for international oil companies. An initial agreement would be a big boost for ExxonMobil’s plans to expand in Iraq. It is also one of the only countries in the world to have friendly relations with both the United States and Iran. Tehran and Washington, arch enemies elsewhere, are Baghdad’s main allies and vie for influence there. ExxonMobil and PetroChina will build a water injection project to feed oil wells in the south, as well as rehabilitate and build new export pipelines, Abdul Mahdi said.
  5. And that’s only one rental have another plus my house. Lots of Huge corporations have been building corporate offices here in the South Bay . Traffic is a nightmare coming into town in the morning and leaving in the afternoon . So these corporate employees want to live here. nightine population is 19,000. Daytime population is 65,000 Im always leaving town in the morning so The traffic is no problem for me. I’ve tried talking the wife into cashing out but she will not leave the area
  6. Lawyers have screwed things up here but I can’t complain too much about my property taxes on my properties . Bought all three 15, 20 and 25 years ago Because of Howard Jarvis prop 13, I am Still only paying property tax on their purchase prices. So tax on $430,000. My property Tax is a bit over $6,000 a year. May seem high right ? But these properties are now worth approx $3.8 million. Crazy home prices here in My small SoCal city . A 2 bedroom 1 bath 1200 sq ft house rents out for $3,200 a month
  7. Kurdistan industry booming after removal of customs duties with Iraq: ministry Posted on April 16, 2019 by Editorial Staff in 1 Top News, Industry, Trading Azady industries, Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan, 2016. Photo: HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Factory output in Iraqi Kurdistan Region is booming thanks to the removal of customs duties and checkpoints between Iraq and Kurdistan Region. “Due to the removal of customs checkpoints between Baghdad and the Region and the unification of customs duties, the export of our factories’ products to the Iraqi cities has increased by 20 percent,” Mustafa Zubair, who oversees factory affairs for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Trade and Industry, told Rudaw, without specifying a time period. “High quality and cheap prices” have contributed to increased demand on Kurdish-made goods and services, according to Zubair. Some 70 percent of products produced by factories in the Kurdistan Region are sold elsewhere in Iraq. They include hygiene products, plastics, and food items. The KRG Ministry of Trade and Industry has licensed 5,400 large, medium, and small factories to operate. Of this number, almost 3,000 were established. “Of the 3,000 factories, 600 are very active, selling 70 to 80 percent of their outputs outside the Kurdistan Region,” Zubair said. Following the takeover of Kirkuk by Iraqi forces supported by Iran-backed Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias, the Iraqi government decreed to deal with Kurdish-made products as foreign exports. High customs fees were levied on the pretext that the KRG does not abide by Iraq’s Law No. 25, 1991 for Industrial Development concerning the licensing of factories. This move forced the plants in the Kurdistan Region to revoke their licence with the KRG and apply for a new one from Baghdad to escape high tariffs. “This problem has now been resolved,” Zubair claimed. Permits are now being issued according to Iraq’s Law No. 20, 1998. “Any factory licensed based on that law will be exempted from any taxes and customs fees for 10 years allowing them to import raw material to their factories from any border-crossings of Iraq,” he explained. The majority of the Region’s factories are located in Erbil − around 1,200. “The removal of customs points between the Iraqi cities and the Kurdistan Region has led to an increase in demand on Kurdish factory outputs from the Iraqi cities and a boost for businesses. Therefore a number of factories that had been shut down in the past have once again resumed their operations,” said Taeb Kazho, head of Erbil’s industrial development. “Only in last month, 15 factories checked with us applying for permits to export raw material for their factories,” Kazho said. Of Erbil’s 1,200 factories, 600 are exporting both to Iraq and abroad. “Currently, factories [in Erbil] export vehicle oil, plastic chairs and tables, tahini, and other products to Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, and Sudan.” Products in the greatest demand among Iraqi importers are “ice cream, mushrooms, natural water, soft drinks, household equipment, tissues, plastic, chemical fertilizers, cement, steel, and many others.” After hygiene, the second most desired products exported from the Region to Iraq and other countries is plastic materials. According to the industrial ministry, there are 561 firms producing plastic products in Kurdistan. Plastic products include chairs, tables, bins, household appliances, synthetic tablecloths, and nylons. Daim Plastic is one of the largest factories in Erbil. Its output amounts to 500 tons every month, consisting of 100 different commodities. The firm’s owner agrees the normalization of Erbil-Baghdad relations has contributed to the business boom. “The removal of the customs duties led to a boost to our market because the $1,200 they were charging us for customs fees is no longer the case,” said Nahro Abdulrahman, owner of Daim Plastic. Now they can “compete with Iranian products.” Abdulrahman said they rely heavily on other Iraqi provinces for the sale of their equipment. Some 60 percent of their products are sold in Iraqi provinces, 20 percent abroad, and 20 percent in the Kurdistan Region. “Compared to the past our sales have increased by 20 percent and we expect it will increase by the end of this month as it is the season for the use of plastic materials.”
  8. Time to invest in Iraq's future FAHRETTIN SÜMER Published09.04.201900:03 Recently, world media was occupied with the horrendous terrorist act against Muslims praying in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. This event showed that a terrorist could come from any ethnic, national or religious background; therefore, terrorism should not be labeled with the terrorist's religious and/or ethnic identity, but the world's nations should stand against such acts on a united front regardless of the backgrounds of the terrorists. One of the countries that has suffered the most from several wars and then from extreme terrorism is Iraq. During the past decade, many Iraqis were killed by al-Qaida terrorist attacks and many more Iraqis suffered from the rise of Daesh in 2014. The terrorist organization brought many deaths in Syria and Iraq and caused many more to be displaced from their homes. Now, Daesh is defeated and Iraq's violent past seems to be withering away. Many internally displaced persons (IDPs) returned to their homes and more will do so, if the security and economic situations improve in their hometowns. However, such a violent past took a toll on the infrastructure of the country. Post-terror restoration War and terror destroyed cities, e.g. Mosul, ruined roads, buildings, damaged electricity production capacity and distribution networks and much more. Iraqi infrastructure has also been deteriorating due to insufficient investments and maintenance. Some visible outcomes of this situation have been electricity shortages all over Iraq and unclean water in some cities, like Basra. Dealing with accumulated infrastructure-related problems takes time and requires huge financial resources. Even though Iraq is an oil-rich country, its own current financial resources are not sufficient to undo such large devastation in a short time, partly due to the fall of oil prices. Now it is time to rebuild the country in order to prevent any future chaos and to increase the welfare of society. Iraqi governments have not been sufficiently able to provide the much needed public services that their citizens expect. The gap between what has been expected from the governments and what they were able to provide has created public mistrust in political processes and politicians. Many Iraqis perceive them as corrupt. This government has a lot to do to rebuild the country and to earn the public's trust again. Following last year's national elections, a democratically elected new government is in power. It has the will to take the challenge; however, the rebuilding the country requires much higher financial resources than the government currently has. The previous Iraqi government sought external financing for rebuilding. For this purpose, the Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq was held in February 2018. However, in that conference the financial pledges of the gulf countries were much smaller, in comparison to that of Turkey's $5 billion in credit lines. And the U.S. extended $3 billion in credit lines. The goal of the conference was to raise $88 billion, but only a total of $30 billion was pledged. The previous Iraqi government has also borrowed from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the 2014 decline of oil prices to meet its budget obligations. The World Bank also contributes to Iraqi reconstruction and recovery, but Iraq needs higher levels of contributions. Iraq's oil-rich neighboring countries can play a bigger role in this regard by providing funds for rebuilding. In the meantime, the government must ensure that it will carry on with reforms to ensure that international financing and government revenues in general are used for the intended purposes and efficiently. The reconstruction efforts should be accompanied by better security environment and continuous economic growth. The Iraqi security apparatus still needs to be strengthened. The Iraqi economy recorded multiple high positive economic growth rates since 2004. Even though the rise of Daesh and fall of oil prices in 2014 slowed down the economy, its economy continued to record positive growth rates until 2017's negative growth. Iraq's economy needs to have high growth rates in order to create jobs for millions of unemployed citizens. Without a growing economy, a good security environment and public trust in the democratic political process, Iraq's stability will be endangered. Higher unemployment, poverty and a weak security apparatus create suitable grounds for sectarian conflicts and for the growth of radical forces, including terrorist organizations. An unstable Iraq will not only negatively affect its neighbors but the return of terrorist organizations in Iraq will have global repercussions, with their links across multiple countries. Hence, helping Iraq overcome its problems is in the interest of many countries. Iraq, by defeating Daesh, indirectly protected its neighbors from the emergence of a troubled region. It is an ethical duty to help a neighbor that went through decades of hardships. Iraq's oil-rich wealthy neighbors should play a bigger role in helping Iraq in the process of reconstruction by providing funds for it. A healthy economy needs good infrastructure and energy. In the short run, neighboring countries can help Iraq overcome its electricity shortages through extending their electricity grids to nearby Iraqi cities. In the long run, Iraq needs to increase its electricity production capacity. Attempts to boost trade The current Iraqi government is interested in increasing its electricity as well as its oil and gas production capacity, which will help the country generate more oil and gas revenues in the future. These are multibillion-dollar projects and Iraq is open to receiving more foreign direct investment (FDI) in these sectors. Iraq also aims to increase its trade relations with its neighbors, in particular Turkey, Iran and Jordan. Iraqi President Barham Salih visited Iran and Turkey a couple of months ago for developing bilateral relations and increasing trade. The Iraqi government is open to mutually beneficial trade agreements and long term water and energy related projects that are mutually beneficial. There are great potentials for mutually beneficial trade and investment relations between Iraq and its neighbors. Iraq also wants to diversify its economy through encouraging private entrepreneurship and attracting FDI in different sectors along with the oil and gas sectors. So far American and Western companies have avoided Iraq, even though the country's security has improved. The Iraqi government should create a more favorable institutional framework for entrepreneurship and business development and create better investment laws to attract foreign direct businesses. It also needs to create a sound financial system and strengthen its banking system, so that businesses can raise financial capital when they need to. It is time to believe in Iraq's future and invest. It has a working democratic system, despite some weaknesses. It has young and vibrant human resources and plenty of natural resources. The country also has great tourism potential as it was the home for multiple ancient and Islamic civilizations. Iraq could offer great business opportunities as a developing country transitioning from a violent past to a peaceful and prosperous future. As its security improves and economy grows, Iraq could become a good location for many global businesses that operate in the Middle East.
  9. Saudi Arabia pledges $1 billion for Iraq at start of economic visit RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will provide Iraq $1 billion to build a sports city, state television said on Wednesday, the start of two-day visit to Iraq by high-level Saudi officials aimed at boosting ties. Riyadh has been wooing Baghdad as part of an effort to stem the growing regional influence of Iran, while Iraq is seeking economic benefits from closer ties with its southern neighbour. A Saudi economic delegation that includes the energy and investment ministers arrived in Iraq on Wednesday for the second Saudi-Iraq coordination council meeting, an initiative launched in 2017 to upgrade diplomatic relations. Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Baghdad in 2015 following a 25-year break. Saudi investment minister Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi said it would open its consulate in Baghdad on Thursday to begin issuing visas for Iraqis and that three other consulates would be opened in Iraq, according to Iraq’s state news agency. Qasabi said that 13 agreements were ready to be signed and that work on the Arar land border crossing linking Iraq and Saudi Arabia would be completed within six months.
  10. Satellite wars over Iraq Satellite television networks with competing political agendas are vying for the hearts and minds of the Iraqis, writes Salah Nasrawi Satellite wars over Iraq SALAH NASRAWI Articles ShareFacebookTwitterWhatsAppgoogle_plusTelegramLinkedInSkypeGmailEmail The new battlefront in Iraq these days is the increasingly crowded field of state and privately-financed satellite television channels. They are the most efficient media that can reach millions of Iraqis who rely largely for their news and entertainment on foreign outlets. The problem is that a satellite propaganda war is being fought out over the skies of Iraq that could also extend to shaping the mindsets of Iraqi viewers who face an uncertain future. The latest media outlet that joined the race to transmit directly to Iraq is a Saudi television channel launched on 17 February. A battle is already underway between the newcomer and Iranian and Iran-funded media in Iraq. The launch of the Saudi channel MBC-Iraq caught many off-guard, but it could not have come as a complete surprise. Saudi Arabia has long been trying to woo Iraqis away from its main rival Iran, which has been seeking to extend its influence further in Iraq. Iran also operates several television organisations targeting the Iraqi audience with Iranian political and religious propaganda. Iran’s Arabic-language news channels have also exacerbated the “TV wars” between Iran and many of its Arab neighbours. Amr Adib, an anchor at MB-Egypt, also owned by the Middle East Broadcasting Centre MBC, a television entertainment and news outlet owned by the Saudi Royal Family, told viewers that the sister channel MBC-Iraq would have a political agenda. “The channel is not only a media outlet. It is a social and political one that will allow Iraqis to appreciate their Arab identity,” Adib said on his programme the “Tale” on 26 January. “There is an Iranian-Turkish struggle over Iraq, and its brothers must support it [Iraq],” he said, referring to the widely perceived growing influence of both Ankara and Tehran in Iraq. The MBC group, meanwhile, said that MBC-Iraq was “a premium entertainment television channel, broadcasting a diverse selection of content suitable for the entire Iraqi family, consisting of Iraqi and regional productions.” MBC describes itself on its Website as the “largest and leading private media company in the Middle East & North Africa.” MBC outlets which operate from Dubai include 18 TV channels that broadcast in several languages. At the time of its launch, the new channel seemed like a bold move for the media company, but Saudi-owned MBC-Iraq also seems doomed because of the war for the airwaves with Iran. Soon after it was launched, the station came under fire from pro-Iran Shia groups in Iraq that accused it of being an instrument for the “cultural invasion” of the country by Saudi Arabia. “We are afraid of the poison that could be spread by these channels,” said Laith Al-Ithari, a senior official of the Iran-backed militia Assab Ahlul Haq in Iraq. More seriously, MBC-Iraq’s operators in Baghdad have started receiving death threats, forcing them to close offices and studios in the upscale Zaiyyona neighbourhood of the Iraqi capital that cost the Saudi company millions of dollars to refurbish. Consequently, the channel has had to move most of its operations to Irbil in the Kurdish-controlled Region of Iraq, Beirut and Dubai, a clear limitation on broadcasting from Baghdad. MBC-Iraq’s broadcasts include serials, social comedies, music, cultural and lifestyle programmes, and talk shows meant for a domestic audience. They are produced and screened by Iraqi teams that focus on Iraqi issues. Nowhere is the struggle over the airwaves more intense than in the Middle East. Currently, there are more than 500 satellite and terrestrial TV channels beaming into households across the region. In addition to the homegrown channels, almost every major network in the world is also now running an Arab broadcaster. Apart from BBC Arabic, the region has Russian RT Arabic, France 24 Arabic, CNN Arabic, CCTV Arabic and TRT (Turkey) Arabic. After its invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States launched the Al-Hurra channel in a bid to keep pace with regional competitors. Al-Hurra, or the Free Channel, also started broadcasting Al-Hurra-Iraq which was meant to be the voice of the US for Iraqis. Both channels drew fire in the Middle East and were accused of being an American attempt to influence public opinion. In 2017, the channels saw a new administration headed by former American diplomat Alberto Fernandez who later announced a complete overhaul of them. This “revitalisation” was aimed at challenging anti-American media and political groups critical to US policy in the Middle East, while Al-Hurra-Iraq was redesigned to confront Iran and its supporters in Iraq. Among several steps Fernandez took to reorganise Al-Hurra-Iraq were his firing of dozens of its Baghdad staff, the recruitment of new personnel, and the redesign of the channel in line with its newly robust anti-Iran agenda. As expected, the new version of Al-Hurra-Iraq was met with harsh criticism by Iran’s proxies in Iraq, who accused it of bias, spreading American ways of thinking and anti-Shia propaganda. Following the controversy, the Baghdad-based Journalism Freedom Observatory reported that several remaining Al-Hurra-Iraq staff had received threats for continuing to work for the station. In January, an Iraqi journalist working for Al-Hurra was found dead in a Baghdad suburb. The authorities said they had launched a probe into the death of Samer Ali Shakara, who was shot in the head, but since then there has been no word on who was behind the incident. For years, the all-news Qatari Aljazeera satellite TV network has been having trouble in Iraq, including the closure of its offices in Baghdad for allegedly fanning anti-Shia sentiments and supporting Sunni insurgents. Nevertheless, the coverage of Iraq by Aljazeera, which was established to reflect Qatar’s political vision, has been “positive” since Doha fell out with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates more than two years ago. Airwave competition in conflicts is not new. Radio broadcasts to spread or counter propaganda by stations that operate across borders are as old as the technology itself. Upon their launch in the 1990s, the satellite TV channels in the Middle East performed an immensely significant role in addressing core issues concerning the welfare and national security of their respective nations and catering to their preferences. The airwave war over Iraq comes at a difficult time in the region, particularly as attention turns to the influence of Iran over local proxy groups in Iraq, particularly the Shia militias. Soft-power struggles over Iraq’s airwaves are a clear sign that rival regional heavyweights are determined to exert their influence in the beleaguered country. Part of that includes effectively and skillfully spreading propaganda and countering that of rivals in order to win “the war of narratives” in the country. Until this war over Iraq’s skies is won, the one on the ground between an ambitious Iran and Iraq’s troubled neighbours also seems sure to smoulder on.
  11. 4,000-Year-Old ‘Lost’ City Discovered in Iraq, Researchers Say BY JACK PHILLIPS April 2, 2019 Updated: April 2, 2019 A 4,000-year-old lost city has been discovered in Iraqi Kurdistan, according to researchers. “We weren’t expecting to discover a city here at all,” said Christine Kepinski, who explored the site, according to the French National Center for Scientific Research journal. The excavation of the site, known as Kunara and located near the city of Sulaymaniyah, was only possible after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was deposed in 2003. Researchers also noted that the ISIS terrorist group’s presence in Iraq also hampered their efforts. “The situation is much more favorable now,” project leader Aline Tenu said in the journal. View image on Twitter People lived in the city, located near the Zagros Mountains, around 2200 BC, archaeologists have theorized. “The city of Kunara provides new elements regarding a hitherto unknown people that has remained at the periphery of Mesopotamian studies,” Tenu added. Meanwhile, dozens of clay tablets covered in cuneiform were also discovered, which showed how people may have delivered flour. Cuneiform is one of the oldest systems of writing. Researchers said the city underwent a period of decline after it was ravaged by a fire 4,000 years ago, the researchers speculated. Cuneiform specialist Philippe Clancier said the people who lived in the city had a good “grasp of Akkadian and Sumerian writing, as well as that of their Mesopotamian neighbors.” “The first tablets found in a building of the lower city register a large number of entries and departures of flour,” Clancier continued. “It was actually a kind of flour office,” Tenu explained, adding that it was for the governor of Kunara. “The city must have even been fairly prosperous,” Tenu noted. “As rare stones such as obsidian [and carnelian, a semi-precious gems stone] were used to produce entirely commonplace tools.” Residents in the city “most likely took advantage of its strategic location on the border between the Iranian kingdom in the east and the Mesopotamian kingdom in the west and south,” Kepinski also theorized. A man walks past two ancient Assyrian human-headed winged bull statues at Iraq’s National Museum in Baghdad on March 1, 2015. (Karim Kadim/AP Photo) Researchers also discovered tools and ceramics that were bought and traded in the city’s ruins. “It was surely the area’s agricultural wealth that promoted its rise. Archaeologists have discovered the remains of goats, sheep, cows, and pigs, suggesting the existence of a major livestock farming system. The presence of an irrigation network in the city’s south is also a reminder of the mastery the region’s inhabitants achieved in grain farming, especially barley and malt,” the journal also noted. A view of the ancient city of Babylon. The Babylon ruins which have been recently renovated are on the right side while the left side of the photograph shows what remains of the Babylon City. (Ali Al-Saadi/Getty Images) They haven’t found anything about the city’s original name, which is still a mystery. “But we will continue to look,” Tenu added.
  12. Baghdad-Erbil Reconciliation Reviving Region's Economy - Kurdish Party MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The reconciliation deal reached by Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan last fall has helped improve bilateral relations and revive the autonomous region's economy, Hoshawi Babakr, representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Russia, told Sputnik. "After new Iraqi Prime Minister [Adel Abdul Mahdi] was elected [in October 2018], relations between Baghdad and Erbil changed a lot. [Kurdistan Regional Government's Prime Minister Nechirvan] Barzani's trip to Baghdad changed everything after their frank talks. Iraq now allocates a budget to Kurdistan; wages are being paid regularly to officials. This has resuscitated Kurdistan's economy. The agreement between Baghdad and Erbil works well", Babakr said. © REUTERS / RODI SAID Kurdish-led SDF Continue Offensive Against Daesh in Syria's Baghouz (VIDEO) Erbil and Baghdad are now in the process of negotiating the terms pertaining to Iraqi Kurdistan's participation in Iraq's new government, which it is rebuilding itself after years of military conflict with the Daesh* terrorist group. These developments come after bilateral relations significantly deteriorated in 2017, when the region held a referendum in a bid to secede from Iraq. Baghdad declared the referendum illegitimate and launched a military operation in the region, notably capturing the capital of the oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk. Oil Production Babakr also addressed the plans to increase oil production at the Kirkuk oil field up to 600,000 barrels per day (bpd). "We plan oil production in Kirkuk to increase even further, up to 600,000 [bpd]. Back in the day, the norm was 500,000 barrels per day", he said. The official expressed hope that Iraq would receive waivers from the OPEC-non-OPEC deal in order to boost its oil production. "Iraq is OPEC's member and tries to comply with the agreement. But we see that Iran decreases production. Who will take its place? Probably Iraq will be given the opportunity because the country still has to recover its economy, destroyed cities. That's the way I see it", Babakr added. © AFP 2019 / RYAD KRAMDI 'Supply Crisis Is Looming On Horizon' If OPEC+ Makes More Cuts - Energy Expert Last December, the signatories to the oil output cut deal, which has been in force since 2017, agreed to reduce overall production by 1.2 million bpd for six months starting from 2019. OPEC member states pledged to cut their production by 800,000 bpd, while non-OPEC countries agreed to reduce the output by 400,000 bpd. Oil exports from the Kirkuk oil field were disrupted after the Iraqi military carried out an operation in the area and took control of Kirkuk in the fall of 2017 in response to Iraqi Kurdistan's independence referendum.
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