TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Sunday 3-24-2024

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CandyKisses:  Political: The Sudanese government has the keys to removing US forces

Information/private.

Political analyst Adnan al-Saadi said on Saturday that al-Sudani’s upcoming visit to America in the middle of next month, which will discuss the file of the exit of US forces, may change the equation for those forces to remain in Iraq.

 Al-Saadi said in a statement, to the agency / Information /, that the Iraqi factions and political forces reject the stay of US forces and there is great popular discontent rejecting the Americans, noting that “the Iraqi forces and the Popular Mobilization are able to protect the country from any internal or external threat.”

He added that, “Sudani’s visit to America will discuss the file of dollar prices and I do not expect them to decline and win the file as it is the only US means of pressure on Iraq to maintain its forces.”

Al-Saadi concluded: “The Sudanese has a great force that supports him in the file of the exit of US forces, represented by the coordination framework, noting that there are” many meetings of the framework that talked about the file of the exit of US forces and developed many proposals.”

It is noteworthy that the strategic framework agreement between Iraq and America can be amended and canceled as it is, according to specialists.

Prime Minister Mohamed al-Sudani’s visit to the White House is the first since he became prime minister.

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Tishwash:  Iraq informs the World Bank of its plan to support the economy’s resources

Minister of Finance, Taif Sami Muhammad, stressed the importance of the partnership with the European Bank to support the Iraqi government’s plan to diversify the sources of the national economy.

A statement from the Ministry of Finance, a copy of which was received by the Mail, stated that “Minister Taif Sami Mohammed met with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( EBRD ), Odile Renaud-Basso, at the bank’s headquarters in the United Kingdom, and the Minister of Finance began her meeting with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.” Referring to the strategic partnership between Iraq and the Bank, and discussing ways to strengthen bilateral relations to ensure the possibility of strengthening the private sector in Iraq and digitizing the banking system.

The Minister of Finance stressed “the importance of the partnership with the European Bank to support the Iraqi government’s plan to diversify the sources of the national economy,” noting that “the Iraqi government’s priorities are investing in the areas of energy and digital transformation in the financial infrastructure.”

For her part, Odell stressed “the bank’s desire to work in Iraq and contribute to supporting the private sector and renewable energy   link

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CandyKisses:  Kurdistan details the “secrets” of its financial differences with Baghdad. This body obstructs the agreements

Economy News – Baghdad

The Minister of Finance and Economy in the Kurdistan Region, Awat Sheikh Janab, announced that not sending salaries from 300,000 to 360,000 of the region’s employees by the federal government “is tantamount to planting a time bomb and provoking division within society” by a political decision, and while he pointed out that the deep state is the one that controls the Iraqi scene, he stressed that the number of employees of the region is less numerous compared to Iraq by 16%.

Sheikh Janab said in a television interview with a group of local media that he headed the negotiating delegation of the Kurdistan Regional Government with Baghdad for a long time, noting that the delegation was insisting on treating the region’s employees like the employees of Iraq, and as a result an agreement was reached last April sponsored by the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masrour Barzani, and the President of the Federal Government, Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani, but the deep state in Baghdad retracted the agreement one month after its conclusion.

He explained that “the deep state is the one that governs Iraq and it is known what these parties are, while all those in the political scene are not key actors in it, but only tools to implement the policies of the deep state,” noting: “In the event of a political agreement between Erbil and Baghdad, all problems will be addressed, without which we will return to square one.”

He added that the region has its constitutional powers of parliament, government, election commission, oil industry and independent finance, and the constitution recognized this as well as the federal system, adding that “what is happening now by the Federal Court is contrary to the constitution, and the President of the Federal Court from Amman stated that the current constitution is inappropriate.”

He pointed out that the Ministry of Finance of the region has fulfilled all its obligations and prepared the lists of employees for the month of March.

In response to a question about whether obstructing the sending of salaries is the responsibility of the Iraqi Minister of Finance, Sheikh Janab said, “Unfortunately, a bad image is conveyed about the Federal Minister of Finance, Mrs. Taif Sami, but what I know about her is that she is a professional figure and does not consider herself a politician and does not have political support, but because of the decision of the Federal Court, so she implements the decision strictly.”

He attributed the cause of the main problem to an emerging political situation in the Kurdistan Region since 2014 by a decision of the federal government by linking the share of the Kurdistan Region to actual spending “with the aim of limiting the development of the region, and this constitutes an injustice against Kurdistan, followed by other unfair decisions such as reducing the region’s share from 17% to 12.6%, and linking everything to the oil file, and this is like Othman’s shirt to justify those decisions that contain clear and flagrant injustice.”

He pointed out that sending the salaries of the employees of the Kurdistan Region is incomplete is tantamount to planting a time bomb, dividing society and throwing fire in the Kurdish house, by not sending salaries from 300,000 to 360,000 employees, stressing that accepting some decisions turns them into a fait accompli, so solving the matter requires a lot of wisdom and patience.

He went on to say that “the number of our employees in the Kurdistan Region is much less than the employees of Iraq, where we have about one million and 200 thousand employees, which is less compared to Iraq by only 16%.”

He stressed that it is not possible to cover the remaining salary deficit because local revenues are insufficient, explaining that attempts are continuing to reach a solution “where we will distribute salaries as soon as the full amount arrives”.

He expressed optimism that this will be achieved, noting that “things are moving towards a solution and there is a preliminary agreement with Baghdad on the salaries of military personnel, where we send lists through special codes that can be audited by the financial control.”

He also referred to the PMF, saying that the budget law does not include any note about the PMF, despite the fact that their numbers are large and they do not receive their allocations from the Federal Ministry of Finance, but from the Iraqi Cabinet Office.

He stressed that delaying the salaries of the employees of the Kurdistan Region is linked to a political decision imposed on us, which can only be solved by a political decision, pointing to the impact of political interference in salaries, as each time a decision was required by the Iraqi Council of Ministers to pay the salaries of the region’s employees because of the control of partisan and political influences in this matter.

He stressed that the region is the product of 100 years of struggle and should not allow everything that affects the entity of the Kurdistan Region, and that treating the region as a province and weakening the regional government means weakening all Kurdish parties, explaining that what the Federal Court practices represents interference in the work of the executive and legislative authorities.

On the oil file, the Minister of Finance of the region said: “Out of 14 oil fields, we now have only 9 operating fields, and since April 1, 2023 until now, these fields have produced 45 million barrels, of which 11.8 million barrels have been delivered to Iraq from June 25, 2023 until December 1, 2023, without Baghdad paying the cost of producing or transporting a single barrel of them, and the rest of them is 33 million barrels, and according to contracts, 45% of them go as dues to oil companies and 55% to the regional government.” , indicating that the average price per barrel of oil is $ 31.

As for non-oil domestic revenues, he revealed that they amount to 300 billion dinars, of which 180 billion goes as operating expenses and petty cash ministries, and 22 to 24 million dollars of which are paid to Dana Gas for electricity production.

He also pointed to an account project in coordination with the Central Bank of Iraq and Iraqi banks, where 250,000 employees have been registered so far and the registration of all employees is scheduled to be completed until the end of this year, “and it can be used to localize the salaries of employees.”

Al-Sudani had previously acknowledged that the mechanism for distributing the salaries of the region’s employees was not the work of the federal government, but that interference in this matter was a violation of the constitution