Some “Sunday News” Posted by Clare at KTFA 3-24-2024


Clare:  Natural resources in Iraq…a huge treasure neglected by an “official decision”!


Economic researcher, Ziyad Al-Hashimi, confirmed that (mismanagement of natural resources) is one of the major problems that the Iraqi economy suffers from, as unfair government decisions deprived Iraq of huge billion-dollar revenues and global market shares.

Al-Hashemi said in a blog post on the “X” platform, followed by “ Jarida ”, that “(mismanagement of Iraq’s natural resources) and unfair government decisions have deprived Iraq of huge billion-dollar revenues and global market shares, as Iraq is ranked ninth in the world in terms of size.” It has natural resources within its territory, such as oil, natural gas, phosphate, sulfur, and other minerals.

He added, “Estimations indicate that the value of Iraqi natural resources reaches up to 16 trillion dollars, and this puts Iraq in a distinguished position among the countries of the world rich in natural resources, and despite these enormous wealth, there is official Iraqi negligence to invest in expanding exploration, extraction, production and export.” Many of these resources are natural, as the government’s focus is exclusively on oil.”

He explained, “For example, we find that there is deliberate neglect of the Iraqi phosphate sector (by official decision and for unknown reasons) despite Iraq’s possession of 9% of the global phosphate reserve, and phosphate exports can generate tens of billions of revenues annually for the Iraqi treasury.”

He stressed, “(Mismanagement of natural resources) is one of the major problems that the Iraqi economy suffers from, and it does not appear that there are any official Iraqi efforts to overcome the mistakes that caused billions in losses for this country and its economy, and until the Iraqi government wakes up from its slumber and begins to work diligently and effectively.” Iraq will continue to lose opportunities, shares, and money to other countries, which have greatly benefited from the absence of Iraq and its exports of natural resources from the global market.  LINK


Clare:  Iraq and Kuwait are discussing enhancing trade exchange and encouraging investment

3/24/2024 Baghdad

The Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mohsen Al-Mandalawi, and the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq, Tariq Abdullah Al-Faraj, discussed today, Sunday, mechanisms for enhancing trade exchange and encouraging investment between the two countries.
The media office of the Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives stated in a statement received by Mawazine News: “

The Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mohsen Al-Mandalawi, discussed, during his meeting in his office today, the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq, Tariq Abdullah Al-Faraj, the overall situation in the two countries, the latest regional developments, and a number of… Files of mutual interest.

He added, “The meeting discussed enhancing trade exchange between the two brotherly countries, establishing a free market to stimulate this sector, and stressing the need to work hard to encourage investment within sustainability standards, in addition to continuing to hold joint committee meetings and exchanging visits between officials of the two countries to resolve some outstanding issues, in addition to exchanging Security information to reduce the threat of terrorism and the spread of drugs.

He continued, “During the meeting, there was also talk about the Kuwaiti National Assembly elections scheduled to be held early next month.”

Al-Mandalawi expressed his “wishes for Kuwait’s success in this important achievement, and continued progress and prosperity in various fields.”   LINK

Clare:  Automation and strong internet…a necessity for reforming the banking system

3/24/2024   Baghdad: Hoda Al-Azzawi

The Finance Committee of the House of Representatives is conducting a very important investigation into the presence of fraudulent deductions from retirees’ salaries by informal associations, while experts in finance and economics unanimously agree on the necessity of a rapid move towards automating banking operations and preparing their infrastructure in terms of strengthening the global network “the Internet.” “As a necessity to reform the banking system.

The Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Finance Committee for the fourth session, Dr. Ahmed Al-Saffar, in an interview with Al-Sabah, praised “the steps of the Parliamentary Finance Committee to follow up and monitor the banking system and electronic dealings,” and added, “But I believe that the issue needs other steps to prepare the infrastructure and emphasize restoring confidence.” Citizen in Iraqi banks.

He stressed that “the banking sector in general needs radical reform and restructuring of the large number of unnecessary private banks that are not doing their proper banking work,” calling for “keeping the real banks that are doing their work and supporting them and providing facilities to them.”

He pointed out that “the other point is the emphasis on the issue of the Internet, because electronic dealing is completely linked to the presence of a strong Internet in order for electronic dealing to take place,” stressing that “the citizen – until now – does not trust putting his money in banks, and the process needs to build confidence among the citizen and those… Then raise awareness and work to achieve or implement financial inclusion for the citizen by delivering banking services easily to him, starting with the category of employees, retirees, care salary holders, or others, and then moving to other categories.”

He stressed that “the Financial Committee’s follow-up of violations and transgressions to steal retirees’ funds is a very important step.”

As for the expert in the field of anti-corruption, Saeed Yassin Moussa, he said in an interview with “Al-Sabah”: “The system for paying the salaries of employees and retirees needs periodic review, and one of the best ways is to adopt automation and use smart cards to pay and settle salaries, fees, and other financial activities, including commercial ones.” Pointing out that “forgery is expected in paper processes before salaries enter the electronic system, and an example of this is what happened in Anbar, the Martyrs Foundation there, and the Retirement Authority departments in the governorates.”

He explained, “The National Retirement Authority has an excellent experience in preparing the infrastructure for the retirement referral system, starting electronically from institutions through the presence of the Authority’s teams in ministries and public institutions in preparing retirement transactions for employees, with the employee referred for retirement being handed a review card to complete the retirement transaction at the Retirement Authority.” the public”.

Moussa stated, “In these aforementioned steps, the possibility of forgery operations is very narrow and even non-existent, but the defect lies in the transactions of the wounded and martyrs through the forgery operations that were discovered by the Integrity Commission in cooperation with the Public Retirement Service, and I deem it necessary to subject all those who They were referred to retirement from this category for review and scrutiny, knowing that forgery operations are carried out through multiple mafias with the complicity of some employees in the relevant departments and forging the signatures of other employees.”

He added, “The process of fraud on smart cards remains. Here, it is necessary to protect the electronic system from hacking, review the banking system, and preserve the confidentiality of the retiree (the private code), while subjecting the relevant associations to periodic auditing, and deterring those who attempt to seize the funds of employees and retirees in loan and advance operations.” And selling in installments.”

Last week, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Atwan Al-Atwani, hosted, along with the committee members, the Director General of Rafidain Bank, Ali Karim, and the Managing Director of the International Smart Card Company to discuss electronic transactions.
A statement from the committee indicated that “the meeting discussed the issue of dealing with (unlicensed) associations, installment sales operations, and receiving advances, and the emphasis on preventing any tampering in the sales process, verifying the information of the advance applicant, and protecting customers’ money from fraud.”  LINK


Clare:  Government spokesman: The Prime Minister will discuss 5 basic files during his visit to Washington

3/24/2024  Baghdad

On Sunday, the Iraqi government spokesman, Bassem Al-Awadi, detailed the agenda of Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani’s visit to Washington, while specifying 5 basic files that will cover the latter’s meetings with US President Joe Biden.

Al-Awadi said, in a statement reported by the official news agency, and seen by Al-Eqtisad News, that “the main topic of the visit of the Prime Minister, Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, to Washington is to discuss the prospects for the future relationship after the international coalition, and then move to comprehensive relations between the two parties.” “Including the security, military and armament aspects.”

He added, “The strategic framework agreement that was signed in 2008, the armament, security and military aspects were able to be the most important, but the framework is broader, so ending the mission of the international coalition will be the first file and then moving to comprehensive relations, and there is a complete legal basis in the agreement.” 

He pointed out, “In 2008, the security, military, and intelligence aspects were implemented, but the move to various fields of cooperation includes investment, energy, economy, agriculture, and others, especially since the United States is a leading country in technology in all of these areas.”

He pointed out that “among the files that will be discussed during the visit also are the financial file and what is related to the decisions of the US Treasury, the influence of Iraqi banks and the debts owed by Iraq, as well as the regional file and what is related to the Gaza war and Iraq’s relations with neighboring countries and regional countries,” stressing that ” Five files will be basic and will cover the meetings in Washington.”

He stressed that “the Prime Minister does not want to go to Washington on a visit just for the sake of visiting, but rather he wants this visit to be successful and to produce realistic and effective results that will positively affect the Iraqi interior, reflect on the regional side, and develop the ABCs of the Iraqi-American relationship.”

He noted that “the visit was scheduled to take place late last year, 2023, but the war on Gaza affected that, especially since the Iraqi positions are clear regarding the Gaza war, and the visit cannot take place at a time when the feelings of Iraqis and Arabs in general and the world are in solidarity and sympathize with the Palestinians, and therefore “It will lose its content.”

He continued, “The American elections will begin next November, and usually American presidents, six months or more before the elections, refrain from receiving guests from abroad, and focus on the internal file, especially the elections. This year’s elections in the United States of America are different from all previous elections, as nothing happened.”

 In its history, a former president who lost in the elections returns, with a competition and a program different from the program of the Democratic Party, meaning that the American internal event has now occupied the American arena and the world with its repercussions, and thus, in light of this crisis, President Biden singles out a date for a meeting with the Iraqi Prime Minister, and interrupts his election campaign and mocks. “Several days for Iraq and the situation there, a clear indication of respect for the Prime Minister and Iraq’s political and international standing.” 

Regarding the seriousness of activating the strategic framework and scheduling the withdrawal of the international coalition, Al-Awadi said: “This file has been decided by the Iraqi and American parties, and the Iraqi government is 100% serious about this issue, and the Prime Minister cannot be flattering about this issue or debate it, as it relates to the future of Iraq and the sovereignty of Iraq.” The country is not manoeuvrable.

He stressed that “what the Prime Minister says is what he is working on, and he will discuss future relations after the international coalition, and the negotiations will lead to positive results and a timetable for withdrawal,” stressing that “this fact cannot be doubted.”

He pointed out that “Iraq has a position known to the world regarding the Gaza war, and the Prime Minister spoke about it in international, Arab and regional forums, and conveyed Iraq’s point of view and position on what is going on in Gaza,” noting that “the statement of the press secretary in the White House and the Prime Minister’s Media Office Regarding the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington, he pointed out that the regional reality in the Arab Levant region and our regional neighborhood affects Iraq.

He concluded by saying: “Iraq is a sovereign state, and the Prime Minister seeks for Iraq to play its appropriate role and position in proportion to its size in various historical, civilizational and humanitarian fields in the correct manner,” pointing out that “the American administration is working in this direction, and therefore regional issues will present at various levels.” LINK