There’s been some positive news for State and government retirees who are currently collecting a pension from the Iraq central government. The Parliament Finance committee has decided to give a raise in salary to the pensioners and State employees in the beginning of 2012. The State employees and retirees pay raise has been included in the upcoming central Baghdad federal budget of 2012. The 2012 Iraq Federal budget will be between 112 and 120 billion usd. The second largest federal budget after Saudi Arabia.
In the last few weeks, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Dr. Sinan al-Shabibi, has not conducted any interviews nor has any of his advisors recently. Dr. Shabibi very rarely gives interviews to any media organizations but has recently said that he is looking forward to a Iraq Banking conference. This will be scheduled in Jan 2012 in which he will be a keynote speaker.
The Iraq Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that it will start diplomatic negotiations with regional countries and the permanent security members of the United Nations. The relations between Iraq and Kuwait have begun to thaw between them. Iraq just recently reached out to Kuwait in locating missing Kuwaiti soldiers from the 1991 Gulf War. As you remember Kuwait strongly opposes Iraq being removed from the U.N. Chapter VII.
It is now being reported that the U.S. Troops will be pulling out three weeks ahead of schedule. This has several benefits as Iraq will be even closer to getting more control of their country despite still being under UN Sanction Chapter VII. Very few believe Iraqi security forces will be able to defend its borders and airspace. The media does not help matters by not showing support and repeatedly criticizing them openly in print.
It is now being reported in the New York Times that the Baghdad Central Government is objecting to the Exxon Mobile oil deals. These deals were recently signed in northern Iraq with the Kurdistan Regional Government. Exxon Mobile still has not responded to the Iraqi government. This is going to be a test for Prime Minister Maliki in dealing with Exxon Mobile. This is all speculation however, the fourth round of oil contracts will be in January 2012. It is unknown if the Iraqi government will make a decision before Jan 2012.