Have you noticed that some of the things I’ve written in the Summary now are showing up a few days later in the media. It does help to establish credible contacts.
KUWAIT vs IRAQ
Surely everyone is following the current battle between the Iraqi and Kuwaiti Parliaments. In Baghdad, every newspaper is filled with articles on this topic. Let me get you up to speed on what is happening so far in this battle between the two countries Parliaments and then I will detail some of the quotes that have been published in the Arab newspapers. It is shocking.
You have read where Kuwait had sent a high level delegation to the U.N. Security Council with a letter that justifies Iraq’s continued presence under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter (which was enacted after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait 1990).
Iraq is blaming Kuwait for not being removed from Chapter Seven. In response to the actions of Kuwait, Iraq is now refusing to pay the remaining compensation that it owes Kuwait for the invasion during the Saddam regime (as per UN). In addition to skipping out on the debt, now the Iraqi Parliament is demanding that Kuwait pay compensation to Iraq for allowing the US forces to use Kuwaiti territory to Invade Iraq.
As I have said in my earlier newsletters that if you think the Chapter Seven will be lifted in June you are sadly mistaken. This is going to get ugly and fast.
The Kuwaiti Parliament has launched some vicious attacks against the Iraqi Parliament. Listed below are some quotes in the Arab media.
Kuwaiti Parliament To Iraqi Parliament: If it were not for Kuwait you would not be able to speak freely as Parliament members…You all would be in prison or refugees in Exile!
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Khalid Al Tahous addressed the Iraqis saying, We gave you glory and dignity, and we freed you from oppression -but your Parliament is being ungrateful. It should be forcing your government to pay its debt to Kuwait.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Saídoun Al Utaibi criticized the Iraqi Parliaments statements by
saying, They are ungrateful towards Kuwait.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Hussein Al Huriti said, Kuwait did its part to help the Iraqi people.
The Iraqis were being crushed by the fist of a dictator who destroyed his country, brought
suffering upon his people, and plunged the region into wars that wasted many resources.
Kuwaiti Parliament member Falah Al Sawagh said, ìWere it not for Kuwait -Saddam and his aides would have perched on the chest of the Iraqi people for decades. Iraq should be grateful to Kuwait and Kuwaitis.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Naji Al Abd Al Hadi said, the Iraqis should urge their government to reveal the fate of the Kuwaiti prisoners and to follow international regulations.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Hussein Muzid, The broken record of Iraq is playing once again to stop us from being given what is rightfully ours. We will not be quiet we will not stop in demanding our rights. The Iraqi Parliament’s bullshit means nothing, because no one stands between a Kuwaiti and his rights.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Mohamed Al Hayif, Those who demanded that Iraqis debt be cancelled should shut up, especially after the recent anti-Kuwait statements made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki and the Iraqi Parliament.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Mohammed Al Huwaila said, Kuwait saved Iraq and its people from oppression that had lasted for decades. The Iraqi Parliament should have urged their government to pay Iraqís compensation to Kuwait instead of making hostile statements.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member, Saíad Zunaifer said, Kuwait gave freedom to the Iraqi people, and they are enjoying this freedom as we speak. Kuwait had a large role in freeing Iraq from imprisonment under the Tyrant Saddam Hussein. Now, the Iraqi people are enjoying democracy and the ability to make their own decisions.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Salim Al Namlan said, The Iraqi Parliament should have sent a delegation to thank Kuwait. If it were not for Kuwait, they would have not been able to become Parliament Members and speak freely. They would have either been prisoners or refugees in exile.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Waleed Al Tabtabaei said, The Kuwaiti government should withdraw the Kuwaiti Ambassador from Iraq if this goes on.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Jamían Al Harbash refused any leniency regarding the Iraqi debt issue.
Kuwaiti Parliament Member Dulaihi Al Hajiri said, If revenge was on Kuwaitis mind, then the Iraqis would not be enjoying the freedom that they have today. The Iraqi Parliament Members statements show nothing but their hatred of Kuwait -which is something they have in common with the Saddam regime.
From the Iraqi side, Kurdish Coalition Parliament Member Mahmoud Othman responded to the Kuwaiti Parliament Members statements saying, Iraq must take action in response to demand to withdraw the Kuwaiti Ambassador from Baghdad. The Iraqi governments weak position regarding Kuwait, and the routine visits to our southern neighbor over the past five years, has given the Kuwaitis the impression that Iraq is weak. The Kuwaiti Parliaments demands are unreasonable and wrong. Kuwait should have cooperated with Iraq in finalizing the compensation file instead of conducting its international campaign to keep Iraq under UN Chapter 7.
After reading the above quotes from Kuwaiti Parliament members I think we can all agree the event of having the UN Chapter Seven against Iraq lifted anytime soon is mute.
It is going to get worse as the Iraqi Parliament members prepare to hold a public referendum to determine whether or not Kuwait is part of Iraq. No I am not joking.
Iraq will pursue the issue of Kuwait to pay compensation to Iraq that allowed the US forces to invade Iraq. Just so you know Kuwait population consists of 30% Iraqi 40% Saudi, Omani, Bahraini origins, and 30% Iranian. Nice combination.
We will have to see how this plays out which I do think it is going to get a little heated between the two countries as you will see other regional players take sides on the matter or become neutral.
IRAQ ARAB NEWS ARTICLE:
From his side, Iraqi Parliament Member Waíel Abdul Latif said, Now that the Kuwaiti government has taken a position regarding this issue, the Iraqi government must do the same. The Parliaments intervention will force the government to take serious and realistic actions to end the compensation issue. The Kuwaitis are aware more than anyone else -that the Iraqi people are not responsible for Iraqis past debts. The Kuwaiti Parliament should have a clear understanding of this problem.
After the invasion of Kuwait, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq, such as paying compensation and freezing Iraqis assets abroad. Thus far, Iraq has paid more than 13 billionUSDÖ and still required to pay an additional 41 Billion USD to Kuwait. The UN Security Council forces Iraq to pay 5% of its oil revenue as compensation. Repeatedly, since the downfall of the Saddam regime, Iraq asked countries to cancel their past debt or decrease the amount of compensation.
IRAQ EDITORIAL ARAB NEWSPAPER
We say to the Kuwaitis, You of all people know that the Iraqis are made courage, kindness, nobility, generosity, and bravery. You also know the patience of the Iraqi people. Our people began civilization and taught humanity and writing. We are above answering questions from your kind because what you say means nothing. Nothing surprises us from a paranoid neighbor like you, especially after you held the hand of the worst dictator of our age. A dictator who sold his own people cheap in a relationship that caused us nothing but destruction and ruin. Your motives are as clear as the sun.
We call on you to use dialogue and reasoning in solving all issues. Lastly, we ask you: What will happen if you withdraw your Ambassador and cut you ties with us? Allah is merciful to those who know their own size
The Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani from what I am hearing is doing everything he can to stall from appearing in front of the Council of Representatives Oil and Gas committee. It won’t be long just a few more days. Either al-Shahristani will appear and get a shellacking or he will resign.
In this Summary I have included PM Maliki speech that he had made while he attended the Iraq Investment conference in London U.K. On 30 April of this year. I do have all his speeches translated and also others like the CBI Director Shebebe.
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Prime Minister Al-Maliki addresses London conference on investment in Iraq
[Speech by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at a conference on investment opportunities in Iraq, held in London on 30 April – live]
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. God’s peace and blessings be upon you.
Iraqi and British ministers, heads of international and British-Iraqi companies, and businessmen attending this esteemed conference: My greetings to you and thanks for your attendance. I wish this conference success. I would also like to send my greetings and thanks to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for giving us this opportunity and for calling for this conference, which will hopefully succeed in fulfilling our desire to develop the infrastructure of the Iraqi economy and public services, God willing. Once again I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to all those who responded to this kind initiative to hold this conference. I would also like to seize this opportunity to convey in the name of the Iraqi Government and people our thanks to the government of her majesty the queen and the British people for their support for the Iraqi Government and people during the years which followed the fall of the former regime. Honourable audience: During the dictatorial era, the Iraqi people suffered from a despotic regime, which adopted the ugliest policies of repression, oppression, discrimination, and marginalization. The Iraqis reaped nothing in 35 years other than executions, mass graves, imprisonment, and internal wars, during which internationally banned chemical weapons were used.
This is in addition to launching war on our neighbour Iran and invading the sisterly State of Kuwait. The armed groups and terrorist organizations adopted the same subversive policy adopted by the former regime. This increased the magnitude of destruction in all state establishments and the infrastructure. It is a source of pride for us to say today that the army, police, and security forces, supported by the Iraqi people and friends and by the success of national reconciliation, have managed to rescue the country from the abyss of civil war, which targeted the unity and sovereignty of Iraq and sought to disrupt its social fabric. Our success in consolidating security and stability is of paramount importance to our armed forces and security services because it enables them to take over from the multinational forces full responsibility for security in accordance with the agreement we signed with the United States on the withdrawal of foreign troops. Moreover, it is a golden opportunity to activate the economy, which is the most important thing. Security and economic prosperity are interconnected. We cannot talk about stable security without an economic progress that activates markets, achieves justice in the distribution of wealth, and provides more job opportunities for the unemployed. Likewise, we cannot talk about economic progress without having a stable security. This means security and economy must be given equal attention. Iraq today is a democratic country, in which freedoms are respected. It is a country governed by law and constitution. It adopts the principle of peaceful rotation of power on the basis of elections. Elections were held four times and the world stood witness to their fairness and transparency. Iraq is getting ready for the second parliamentary elections at the end of this year. This will bolster the political process and the building of state institutions and stabilize the political system. Ladies and Gentlemen: Among the most serious challenges we faced after 2003 was the heavy economic legacy we inherited from the former regime. The state used to monopolize everything. It was the side that planned, executed, disbursed funds, employed, and bought and sold under a centralized totalitarian regime, in which the private sector was marginalized and isolated from world developments. The process of construction stopped during the dictatorial regime. Not a single school or hospital was built as of the early 1980s.After our assumption of the chairmanship of the national unity government in 2006, and in spite of the difficult circumstances in Iraq at that time, we decided to move ahead and reform the national economy, support the private sector, and provide the necessary conditions that guarantee a sound and well-studied shift from the centralized government economy to the free and mixed market economy that establishes a base for diversified production base that can fulfil the needs of development. We are working for an open economy that is integrated with the economies of the countries of the region in a manner that achieves prosperity for our people. We have made a large stride along the path of economic reform by creating an appropriate legislative environment for work and investment. A number of laws were enacted, including an investment law, an investment system, and other laws regulating economic activities. We are firmly committed to openness on the world by joining the World Trade Organization and by continuing to take measures that facilitate contractual and financial mechanisms, remove bureaucratic barriers, reform the banking system, open doors for world banks and financial institutions and expertise, and ensure the freedom of transfer of funds from and to Iraq. We concentrated our efforts on combating financial and administrative corruption, which we consider the other face of terrorism. Developing the private sector is an expression of our faith in this sector’s importance and historic role in bringing about major changes in the process of economic growth and in effectively contributing to our GDP. Businessmen are the main motivators of growth. Neglecting them will lead to economic crises and recession. Today we are more eager than ever before to have an active and distinguished private sector that plays a key role in economic life side by side with state institutions. We will remove all obstacles preventing its development or renewal of its activity so that it can contribute to bringing about the desired economic transformation. Ladies and Gentlemen: The diversification of the sources contributing to the GDP is considered one of the important factors that secure the attainment of reasonable rates of economic growth and that keep the economy far from the fluctuations caused by dependence on only one source of income. The reactivation of these sources, represented by agriculture, industry, housing, services, and other sectors, will greatly help reduce unemployment rates and offset the deficit in the balance of payment and balance of trade. This will also reduce the effect of foreign fluctuations, reduce inflation rates, and avoid severe economic cycles. Full dependence on income from only sector, represented by oil, will pose a number of threats. Restructuring the economy has become essential for economic reform. The Iraqi economy has witnessed a noticeable stability in the monetary and financial sectors during the last two years. This happened as a result of stability in the exchange rate of the Iraqi dinar against the US dollar and the drop in inflation rates from 53 per cent in 2006 to 7.6 per cent in 2008. This drop in inflation rates proves the stability of the economic situation and reflects positively on the chances of providing a secure investment environment that secures a future vision that is built on firm and solid foundations. The size and nature of the goals set for the investment policy depend on the volume of the investments that are required to develop the infrastructure, something which exceeds the ability of the Iraqi economy to provide at present. The economy needs about $187.7 billion for the period between 2007 and 2010 to counter the effects of the drop in oil prices and adopt an! economic policy, in which the private sector plays a distinguished role. The Iraqi economy has maintained its balance this year in spite of the changes that occurred in world economy and the large drop in oil prices as a result of the global financial crisis. This balance was maintained through the mechanisms and arrangements made by the government to deal with this crisis and alleviate its effects. This reassures investors and encourages them to enter the Iraqi market. Cutting time short is essential to make up for the years of deprivation the Iraqi people lived for 35 years and for the stoppage of the machine of building and reconstruction for tens of years. The Iraqi Government, which is trying to develop and establish investment, development, and industrial zones and economic cities to receive world companies, is working hard towards this end in cooperation with the various international organizations like the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the EU, in addition to bilateral cooperation with the Arab and foreign countries. We have a strong desire for cooperation and for opening the doors for investors willing to enter the Iraqi market. The Iraqi Government highly appreciates the stance adopted by the countries which participated in the two International Compact conferences held in Sharm al-Shaykh and Stockholm. These two conferences were an international demonstration in support of the measures and reforms made by the Iraqi Government in the various fields. It pleases me to extend my great thanks to the countries which expressed their willingness to participate in the upcoming International Compact conference, which will he held in Baghdad in October this year.Honourable audience: While trying to diversify our sources of income and end the state of almost complete dependence on oil revenues, and while trying to open the doors for direct foreign investments and
enable the Iraqi private sector to play an increasing role in economic activity, we are working hard at developing the Iraqi oil industry in a manner that is commensurate with the large oil and gas reserves Iraq has and with the large financial needs and the need to improve services and create jobs. We do this with a feeling of responsibility towards the world by providing it with oil and gas supplies out of our desire to stabilize world markets and reach prices that are fair for both producers and consumers. We look forward to the presence of the British oil and gas companies in Iraq to develop the oil extraction industry there. We assure you that the national unity government is committed to creating a climate that attracts direct foreign investments. We wil! l continue to take all measures, including the completion of legislative reforms, to provide more incentives and guarantees. Iraq possesses natural resources and human capabilities in the form of qualifications, expertise, and scientific potential that are sufficient to launch a large development plan after the elimination of the obstacles represented by financial and administrative corruption, unemployment, terrorism, and debts. In spite of all these capabilities, Iraq continues to need an international effort to contribute to the process of building and reconstruction. The government was eager to activate the economy by establishing the National Investment Commission and presenting an investment draft law, which was approved by the Council of Representatives. This law opens the door for national and foreign investments alike in a manner that will help develop the Iraqi economy and provide many job opportunities to citizens and help rebuild the infrastructure for the prosperity of the Iraqi people. The Iraqi Government has also presented an oil and gas draft law to the Council of Representatives. Approving it will ensure the just distribution of wealth in all Iraqi governorates in a manner that achieves economic growth and development in all domains. The government drew up an ambitious plan to rebuild the infrastructure in the fields of agriculture, industry, housing, health, higher education, electricity, transportation, and tourism. These are open for direct investment by the private, public, and mixed capital. I think you will be briefed on this during this conference. From this podium and in the name of Iraq and its government, I call for partnership with the friends who are willing to work with us. Oil and gas companies, oil service companies, contracting and equipping companies, engineering companies, investors, financial houses, banks, and development establishments can benefit from the large opportunities provided by the promising Iraqi market. You will find that the people of Iraq are friendly and hospitable people who love progress and prosperity. Thank you for your attendance. We hope to meet with you in Baghdad. God’s peace and blessings be upon you.