Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Tuesday AM 2-6-24


Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Tuesday AM 2-6-24

Including The Dollar, Oil And Water.. A Representative Holds America Responsible For The Economic Crises In Iraq

Economy   Deputy: America is responsible for the dollar, oil, water, and electric energy crises 

Information / Baghdad..   On Tuesday, Firas Al-Muslimaoui, representative of the State of Law coalition bloc, held the United States of America responsible for causing a number of economic crises in Iraq, such as the rise in the dollar exchange rate, the oil crisis with Kurdistan, and the water crisis.

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Al-Muslimaoui told Al-Maalouma, “Washington refuses to withdraw its funds from the Central Bank of Iraq and is trying to impose more sanctions on private banks.”

He described this American behavior as “besieging Iraq and strangling it economically,” noting that “the United States refuses Iraq to conclude contracts with international companies in the field of energy and services.”

Several political figures announced earlier that America rejected Iraq’s contract with the German energy company Siemens to rehabilitate the electrical system in Iraq. LINK

The Insurance Bureau Begins Work On The Project To Implement The Anti-Money Laundering And Electronic Reporting System

Tuesday 06, February 2024 10:46 | Economical Number of readings: 303  Baghdad / NINA / The Ministry of Finance announced, today, Tuesday, that the Insurance Bureau has begun work on a project to implement the anti-money laundering and electronic reporting system.

The Ministry said in a statement: “In implementation of the provisions of the government program regarding the adoption of electronic systems in various government transactions, the Insurance Bureau has begun work on a project to implement the anti-money laundering and electronic reports system.”

Al-Nusairi Calls On The Government And The Central Bank To Protect The Banking System From Collapse

Economy News – Baghdad  Today, Tuesday, the economic and banking advisor to the Iraqi Private Banks Association, Samir Al-Nusairi, called on the government and the central bank to intervene to protect the banking system from collapse, while counting the number of private banks that are not practicing their commercial activities.

Al-Nusairi said in a televised interview followed by Al-Eqtisad News, “The government and the central bank must intervene to protect the banking system from collapse due to subjective and objective political influences and tensions and the US Treasury’s continued pressure on the Iraqi economy and harming it through previous sanctions and new restrictions to prevent it from conducting its transactions in the US dollar on Despite the efforts made by the Central Bank during 2023 in cooperation with the government and international banks to regulate foreign trade financing and with the Financial Action Organization.”

He added, “International organizations confirm in their evaluation reports on Iraq that it has applied standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. This means that our banks are strictly committed to international standards and are trying with great efforts to comply with the global system.”

Al-Nusairi explained, “The number of private banks that are no longer practicing all of their banking activities has reached 32 commercial and Islamic banks, which constitute 50% of the volume of banking activity in Iraq. Therefore, this will destabilize confidence in the Iraqi banking sector locally and internationally, and thus will fail the plans for economic reform, and thus will harm our national economy.” “.

The Association’s advisor, the Prime Minister, and the Governor of the Central Bank called for “intervention, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and conducting negotiations at the highest levels with the American side to remove our banks from the cycle of sanctions, deprivation, and restrictions on banking activity and for them to return to operating in full banking and Islamic activity while rehabilitating some banks in accordance with binding international standards.” “.

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Finance Announces The Initiation Of A Project To Implement Anti-Money Laundering In Iraq

Money  and business   Economy News – Baghdad  Today, Tuesday (February 6, 2024), the Ministry of Finance announced the initiation of a project to implement anti-money laundering in Iraq.

The Ministry stated in a statement received by Al-Eqtisad News that, “In implementation of the provisions of the government program regarding the adoption of electronic systems in various government transactions, the Insurance Bureau is beginning work on a project to implement the anti-money laundering and electronic reports system.”

She added, “The process was based on the requirements of the Central Bank and the Anti-Money Laundering Office, and in compliance with the recommendations of the Financial Action Organization (FATF) group, and in line with the government’s steps to accelerate economic and financial reforms.”

She pointed out that “the Insurance Bureau announced the linking of all public and private insurance companies to the project to implement the anti-money laundering and terrorist financing system (AML) and the electronic reports system (Go AmL).”

Parliamentary Oil: The Oil And Gas Law Is Still A Prisoner Of Disputes And The Kurdistan Region’s Oil Export Crisis

Economy  23:43 – 2024-02-05 Monday, the Parliamentary Oil, Gas and Natural Resources Committee revealed the fate of approving the oil and gas law during the coming period, while confirming that the law is still captive to the disputes of the Kurdistan Region’s oil export crisis.

Committee member Adnan Al-Jabri said in a press interview: “The government has not yet sent the law, given the discussions, amendments and meetings it requires,” noting that “the paragraphs of the amendment to the shares of oil-producing governorates have not yet been completed.”

He continued, “The law represents the management of oil wealth in general for the country and not just the Kurdistan Region,” noting that “the law will include adding materials that serve areas near the oil fields.”

Al-Jabri concluded his speech: “There are important strategic decisions that will be issued if the concerned authorities move towards sending it to the House of Representatives for a vote on it,” adding that “the law is still a prisoner of the disputes and the Kurdistan region’s oil export crisis.”

An “Intractable Problem” Prevents The Oil And Gas Law From Being Removed From Parliament

2024-02-06 05:02  Shafaq News/ Member of the Parliamentary Oil and Gas Committee, Ali Al-Lami, expected on Tuesday that the oil and gas law would not be approved in the current parliamentary session, indicating that the dispute over the law concerns the party responsible for managing the oil fields in Kurdistan.

Al-Lami told Shafaq News Agency, “The oil and gas law is one of the important laws, but it will not pass in the current parliamentary session, and this law will be transferred to the next parliamentary session, as it was transferred in previous sessions.”

He added, “There are many disagreements over the oil and gas law, including political disagreements and technical disagreements, and the most prominent of them is over the party that manages the oil fields in the Kurdistan Region and who exports the region’s oil abroad,” stressing that “this main disagreement has not been resolved and will not be resolved due to the deepening political disagreements regarding this is the law”.

Al-Lami continued: “The oil and gas law cannot be separated into two laws, one of which is concerned with oil and the other with gas, given that the gas comes out of the same oil fields, and the two laws cannot be separated, as the dispute is the same without a solution.”   LINK

Corruption, Threats, And Relations With Influential People… Al-Sudani Orders An Investigation Into “Shocking” Files About The Work Of The United Nations

Posted On 02-06-2024 By Sotaliraq   After shocking newspaper reports about the work of its mission and its development program in Iraq, the United Nations confirmed an expanded investigation following information about employees of the international organization, specifically the United Nations Development Programme, who sought to obtain bribes from influential Iraqis in exchange for granting them deals. Within the framework of construction projects, worth up to $1.5 billion, Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani also directed a separate investigation.

According to an internal United Nations document, obtained by the British newspaper The Guardian, the Director of the United Nations Development Programme, Achim Steiner, was assigned to “conduct an administrative review and evaluation of the allegations” after it was revealed that his employees were receiving bribes in exchange for helping businessmen obtain construction contracts.

The British report stated that this 6-page document was sent to donors on January 25, with the aim of reassuring Western capitals that the United Nations Development Program is capable of implementing accountability against itself through internal control mechanisms, allowing the agency Restore its credibility.

The report quoted a knowledgeable Iraqi government official as saying that Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani had ordered the Integrity Commission to conduct a separate investigation.

According to a UNDP document, the agency had previously referred 136 cases to the Office of Audit and Investigations (OAI) in relation to the reconstruction program, the majority of which were against suppliers and not employees.

The report added that 56 were confirmed, 52 of which related to sellers who later faced penalties, while the document did not indicate further details about the other four cases, or whether any disciplinary action had been taken.

The report quoted the document as saying that the United Nations Development Program “is committed to strengthening a work culture and environment in which all UNDP employees can report violations without fear of retaliation.”

The British report indicated that more UNDP employees had made these allegations, and spoke about the “culture of fear” and impunity that they said extended across the agency’s offices in the Middle East.

The report explained that these employees accused UNDP managers who had established strong relationships with their government counterparts, of using those relationships as a weapon to protect themselves from accountability, and they practiced retaliation against employees who spoke publicly.

A person who worked in an office in the Middle East told the newspaper that “the employees tried to sound the alarm regarding the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars to an organization run by a government official, but their bosses “indicated very quickly that we should not interfere.”

The report continued that after the employees informed the “Audit and Investigations Office” of this case, this person was told that they had not provided sufficient documents to continue the investigation.

The report quoted this employee as saying, “The Audit and Investigations Office is not working at all and is completely dysfunctional.”

The Guardian covered a case in which it said that an employee of the United Nations program in Iraq had filed a complaint with the Complaints Officer and the Audit and Investigations Office, speaking of mismanagement and bullying by one of the supervisors, but the senior management turned against him.

The report quoted him as saying, “They told me, either I drop the complaint or the next review of my job performance will not be good and I will be let go.”

The report also quoted another employee working for the United Nations Development Programme, who indicated that the employees were threatened by a former manager after they expressed their concerns about wasteful spending.

The employee added, “They immediately said: You know where the door is, and you will not get a job if you continue stirring things up,” indicating that this manager’s close relations with government officials do not allow them to be harmed, adding that they benefit from each other financially, which is something that is done through Top management.

The report said that “the resident representative of the United Nations Development Program in Iraq, Ok Lootsma, wrote in an email to employees that the investigation conducted by the Guardian was “extremely regrettable,” and that his office “is working with the United Nations headquarters to refute these unfair allegations.” And unjust,” he called on employees to “refrain from any comment.”

The British report concluded with a UNDP spokesperson saying that the allegations that employees were threatened with retaliation for reporting wrongdoing “are completely inconsistent with the UNDP’s commitment to accountability, integrity, and openness to scrutiny.”  LINK

Points To Ponder on Advice Quotes and Quotations  

We give advice, but we do not inspire conduct.  – La Rochefoucauld

Good counsel has no price.  – Guiseppe Mazzini

Never advise anyone to go to war or to marry.  – Spanish proverb

Many receive advice, only the wise profit by it.  – Syrus

Admonish your friends privately, but praise them openly.  – Syrus