IRAQ IMPORTANT DATES
9 Sept 2010 End of Ramadan
24 October 2010 Iraq National Census
December 2010 DFI Account extended
December 2010 3rd Review Stand-by-agreement (IMF)
March 2011 Kurdistan Regional Elections
March 2011 Arab League Summit – Baghdad
A lot of great stories on the web today in reference to Iraq. As you know Dr. Iyad Allawi, is in Russia as he was invited by the Russian President to visit and discuss the political drama that is going on inside Iraq. The Russians also wanted to talk about energy. Dr. Allawi also met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, to discuss energy cooperation between the two countries. Also in attendance was officials from the Crescent Petroleum. This is very positive between these two countries along with the UAE energy firm to establish potential partnerships in Iraq.
Slowly but surely the Iraq private banking industry is getting more mature and building value with a possible new Turkish bank branch in Erbil, Iraq. Officials have said the bank should be open by the end of the year. As you all know the Central of Bank as issued an order for the banking industry to increase their reserves and to think about merges with other banks foreign or domestic. A lot of the Iraqi banks are family owned we are still waiting to see if any banks merge for the better.
No sign of U.N. troops showing up in Iraq so far!! There is no reason for them to show up as they have not been invited by the sovereign nation of Iraq, no new international support and no new U.N. resolutions. Instead the U.S. State department is opting for Security Contractors to take place of the U.S. military. The DoS wants for starters 7,000 security people. Plus a mini-army that is suppose to begin training and in operations by October 2011.
There is a lot going on in Iraq with the lack of electricity, essentially no basic services, ration cards are getting cut back on product and now the Iraqi’s in the area of Sadr City have to worry about the Shite Butcher. Some Iraqi’s say he is in the area and goes on a killing spree and keeps everyone in fear of this psychopath. Just one more thing to worry about in Iraq.
A story about how General Petraeus, saying that we are not leaving Iraq and keeping the 50k troops in Iraq longer to keep the peace and train the Iraqi Army and Security forces. It will be great if the U.S. stays and continues to build all institutions inside Iraq because they all need help.
Dr. Allawi has received two working papers directly from the SLC outlining the principals of partnership in a national government and the reformation of the Iraqi state and its three presidencies. This formula just like everything else has not been agreed upon.
The Iraqi National Alliance (INA) has given the AL-Sadr Trend the green light to negotiate on its behalf with the Al-Iraqiyah list over the governments formation. We will have to wait and see how this plays out.
The meeting Damascus by all the political blocs has been canceled. It has been decided they didn’t want outside interference in Iraqi affairs.
According to the official government spokesman Al-Dabbagh stated: “The two papers detail the SLC’s vision for reforming state institutions and the principles of national partnership and stem from the belief that everyone should be part of the political decision-making process and the governance formula in Iraq. This crisis and the government formation problem cannot be overcome unless all parties are involved. In the SLC, we reviewed the vision presented to us by the brothers in the Al-Iraqiyah List last week, and we adopted almost 80 per cent of the partnership principles they proposed and rephrased them in accordance with our vision. Ours is a general vision that embraces the others because it is important that the Kurds and INA be involved and their opinions considered so that we may prepare a paper on the principles of partnership that is acceptable to all.”
He adds: “This is the new formula for resolving the problem surrounding the person of the future prime minister. In other words, everyone must understand that the person presiding over the Prime Ministry does not hold all the keys to power in the country and that there is room for others to participate in the political decision-making process.”
On the reform aspects of the papers, Al-Dabbagh says: “The Council of Ministers must transform into a governance body. The prime minister should not be viewed as the one who rules the country or controls the Council of Ministers; no, the council should have a set of duties that are shouldered by different individuals, but the council maintains the power to take decisions. As for the proposed National Council for Strategic Policies, it should be one in which the country’s political leaders offer opinions, recommendations, and proposals vis-a-vis general policies in the country that facilitate the decision-making process, whether in parliament or the government, but within the constitution. The prime minister should not be weakened and the powers of the general commander of the armed forces should not be undermined because the country needs bold security decisions.”
Remember I told you about these committees in the AC-I Report dated 17 Aug. So, now the government spokesman is saying we are not going to concern ourselves with the PM position. They are going to try the other presidencies and agree on those positions then come back to the PM position. The Iraqi constitution mandates that the Parliament Speaker is first then the President and the Prime Minister is last. So now they are going back and following the Iraqi constitution. We shall see how this turns out.
He predicts progress in negotiations from this point onward because unlike past negotiations, future talks will no longer revolve around the person of the future prime minister. He notes that Allawi and Al-Maliki both proposed that the issue of the future prime minister be put on hold “because we must prepare a partnership document that applies to all, regardless of who the prime minister is.” He adds: “However, I still admit that the process of selecting the prime minister, even at later stages, will not be easy, but will be less pressuring and testing.”
We can say that its a long way off in selecting a Prime Minister. As I’ve said before nothing will happen during Ramadan especially when government workers are only working 3 hours a day.
In any case things will get better in Iraq. It just might take awhile longer.
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As always more to follow…
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American Contractor has been living in the Middle East and Central Asia since 2003.
News Articles with web links:
‘The butcher’ fear grips Baghdad
Baghdad residents are gripped by fear over the rumoured return of “the Shi’ite butcher”, a militant who earned his gruesome nickname by slaughtering dozens of Sunnis in the Iraqi capital. While officials insist Ismail Al Lami has not come back to the Shi’ite neighbourhood of Sadr City, their assurances have done little to allay people’s concerns. “Before the start of Ramadan, we heard that Ismail had returned from Iran,” Abu Qassim, a 54-year-old civil servant and Sadr City resident, said.
Vakıfbank to open branch in Arbil before yearend
State-owned Vakıfbank will open a branch in Arbil, northern Iraq, the general manager of the bank, Süleyman Kalkan, has said. The bank received preliminary approval to open a branch from northern Iraq’s regional administration and is currently waiting for preparations in Turkey to be completed. The branch is expected to be opened before yearend, Kalkan noted yesterday in a meeting with reporters. Vakıfbank also plans to open another branch in Syria, he said.
Petraeus: We’re Not Leaving Iraq
“First of all we are not leaving,” Petraues insisted, adding that “there are 50,000 US troops that are remaining in Iraq” and that they retain an “enormous capability.” It is a capability that is tough to reconcile with the official story that these are all just trainers.
In volatile Iraq, U.S. role turns to diplomacy
President Barack Obama also is banking on the diplomats — about 300, protected by as many as 7,000 private security contractors — to assume the duties of the U.S. military. That includes protecting U.S. personnel from attack and managing the training of Iraqi police, starting in October 2011.