TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Wednesday Morning 5-22-2024

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Tishwash:  Biden’s decision to extend the emergency in Iraq protects Baghdad’s money – Iraqi expert

The expert in American affairs, Professor Aqeel Abbas, confirmed that the White House’s decision, which was issued yesterday, to extend the state of emergency in Iraq, stems from economic and financial reasons, and has no military or security aspect.

He said that the United States protects Iraqi funds from seizure in accordance with this decision, as There is an unknown number of companies and entities around the world that have sued Iraq over the invasion of Kuwait, and if this protection decision is cancelled, Iraqi funds outside the country will be subject to seizure.

Aqeel Abbas, in a statement:

Extending this decision is economic and financial, not military or security. It protects Iraq from judicial rulings issued by courts in several countries against Iraq, some of which we do not know yet, because the Iraqi state did not inventory the cases filed against the backdrop of the invasion of Kuwait. Many companies were harmed at that time and lawsuits were filed in different countries.

If the US decision is not extended, many Iraqi funds will be seized, and it will be difficult for Iraq to transfer oil money to the Central Bank.

Today, the United States is the protector of Iraqi funds. The funds go to an American bank in New York and then are transferred to Iraq.

Biden stated in a letter addressed to the US Congress:

Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security, and the development of Iraq’s political, administrative, and economic institutions continue to pose an extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of Iraq and to the United States.

The national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 relating to Iraq will remain in effect after May 22, 2024 for another additional year.   link

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CandyKisses:  Sudani arrives in Tehran to offer condolences on the death of the Iranian president and his companions

Shafaq News-Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani arrived on Wednesday morning in Tehran to offer condolences on the death of President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Amir Hossein Abdollahian and their companions in the crash of the helicopter they were carrying them.

The Sudanese media office said in a statement today that the Sudanese is heading a high-level official delegation that includes the President of the Federal Court and a number of ministers and governors.

An informed source said on Tuesday that the Sudanese will participate in the funeral of the Iranian president in the capital, Tehran.

The source told Shafaq News Agency that “the Sudanese will head to the Iranian capital Tehran in order to participate in the official funeral of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi on Wednesday.”

On Monday, Iran officially announced the death of President Ebrahim Raisi along with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the crash of a helicopter they were traveling with other officials in a rugged area near the border with Azerbaijan, in the northwestern province of East Azerbaijan.

Mourners began gathering in Tehran on Tuesday in preparation for days of funerals and processions for the late Iranian president, his foreign minister and other officials who died in the helicopter crash.

On Tuesday morning, a motorcade driven by a truck carrying coffins slowly moved through the narrow streets of central Tabriz, the closest major city to the crash site.

The bodies are due to be transported to Qom before being transported to Tehran, a funeral ceremony presided over by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday, and a procession will be held in Birjand, Raisi’s hometown, on Thursday, followed by a funeral and burial in the city of Mashhad.

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CandyKisses:  The Council of Ministers issues decisions on lagging projects and financial reform

Baghdad – Mawazine News

The Council of Ministers on Tuesday adopted new decisions related to the country’s neglarizing projects and financial reform steps, while deciding to install 17 general managers in separate departments.

This came, during the presidency of Prime Minister Mohamed Shiaa Al-Sudani, the 21st regular session of the Council of Ministers, in which the general situation in the country was discussed, the topics on the agenda were discussed, and the necessary directives and decisions were issued thereon, according to a statement received by Mawazine News.

At the beginning of the session, the Sudanese touched on the painful incident that claimed the lives of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and their companions, stressing the solidarity of Iraq, the government and people, with the Iranian people and the Iranian leadership in these difficult times, and described the departure of the Iranian president as a great loss, because of his personality that loves peace, work and cooperation, referring to the joint files, whether between the two countries and with the countries of the region, which witnessed, during his presidency, further progress and achievement.

The session witnessed the review of the results of the report on the evaluation of the performance of ministries in the field of anti-corruption for 2023, and the Prime Minister directed all ministers to pay attention to the results of the report, and work to follow up on his recommendations and observations and remedy them in the results of the evaluation for 2024.

In the context of following up on infrastructure projects, the Prime Minister directed the preparation of a comprehensive vision and an integrated study on the Hally Road project in Basra Governorate, attracting sober companies in implementation, and coordinating with Basra Governorate on completion and implementation.

The Prime Minister also directed, within the framework of reforming the administrative structures of state institutions, to re-form a committee that is studying the merger of the General Company for Food Trading and the General Company for Central Markets, to present the results within a month.

The Council of Ministers continued to consider the file of lagging and suspended service projects, and put the processors to complete the work in them, as it approved the following:

1- Increasing the amount of the reserve for the project (processing and implementation of two treatment stations in Nasiriyah / Dhi Qar Governorate), and increasing the total cost of the Nasiriyah sewage project.

2- Increasing the total cost and amount of reserve for a construction (establishment of the second corridor of the Ghammas Junction Road – Al- Hamza 62 km).

3- Increasing the total cost and amount of reserve for a construction (establishment of a modern bridge and its approach).

With regard to evaluating the efficiency of general managers and follow-up performance, the Council of Ministers approved the installation of (17) Directors-General in various state ministries and institutions, distributed by (4) general managers in the Ministry of Water Resources, (3) in the Ministry of Agriculture, (3) in the Independent High Electoral Commission, (3) in the Military Industrialization Authority, and one Director-General in the ministries of electricity, industry, the Political Prisoners Foundation, and the Federal Financial Supervision Bureau.

In the context of following up the implementation and completion of traffic jam mitigation projects, the Council of Ministers approved what is confirmed in the book of the Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and Public Works, on the project to develop (front torm), provided that the Ministry bears the integrity of the procedures related to contracting. The project includes the expansion of the road from the front towards the Diyala Bridge, to improve traffic, and to ensure that the realization of the flow of integration with the project of the Mohammed Al-Qasim road connecting the road to the army canal road from the side of Rustama, in addition to the expansion of adjacent streets within the track, the establishment of two bridge intersections and the organization of the front.

The Council of Ministers voted to exclude the Italian company (GKSD) from the registration conditions set out in the amended Foreign Companies Branch Law (2 of 2017), and approve the financing of the preparation and management contract for the Internal Security Forces Hospital from the budget of the Directorate of Welfare Affairs of the Internal Security Forces, while ensuring the implementation of the restriction of all revenues, which the hospital receives from its operation, finally in favor of the budget of the aforementioned Directorate.

In the field of financial and administrative reform, the Council of Ministers approved the adoption of the (National Methodology for Good Governance Standards in Iraq), prepared by the Diwani Order Committee (84 of 2021), based on the provisions of the Constitution, taking into account the observation of the Legal Department in the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, not to create a section related to the follow-up of the implementation of the adoptions of good governance and administrative configurations, within the planning departments in ministries and entities not associated with the Ministry and governorates; to to conflict with the government’s vision of reducing and rationalizing administrative structures. A specialized team, from the Ministry of Planning, the Board of Advisors and the Follow-up Committee of the Government Program, submits a report every (3) months, to the Prime Minister for decision.

As part of the follow-up of the energy projects with foreign companies, the Council of Ministers approved the recommendation of the Ministerial Council for Energy (24035 i) for the year 2024, which includes the contractor (Dutch Boskas Company) for a period of one month to sign the contract, starting from the date of issuance of the decision of the Council of Ministers, otherwise the appropriate measures will be taken in accordance with the instructions for the implementation of government contracts (2 of 2014).

In the same file, the recommendation of the Ministerial Council for Energy (24039 I) for the year 2024, on the supply of gas from (Al Hilal Oil Company) was approved, which includes the approval of the findings of the committee composed in the Ministry of Electricity, on discussing the price of dry gas to be processed from (Al-Hilal Oil Company), to the Kirkuk gas power plant, according to the details established by the ministry, and its continuation of signing the contract with the aforementioned company, taking into account interest the opinion of the Legal Department in the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, and the Ministry bears the integrity and accuracy of contractual procedures, in accordance with the laws, regulations and instructions.

In the foreign relations process, the Council of Ministers agreed to submit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through an official memorandum, to ensure the right to open a consulate general of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Iraq, in case of a future request in accordance with reciprocity, and the matter will be presented to the Council of Ministers at the time after determining one of the Iraqi provinces from the German side to be the headquarters of its consulate.

In application of the Council’s approach to supporting the localization of the pharmaceutical industry, and encouraging the production of medicines and medical supplies inside Iraq, the Council of Ministers approved the exception (National Health Factory) from the provisions of paragraph (1) of its resolution No. (23151), related to the classification of pharmaceutical factories and the controls of referring the contracts of the Ministry of Health to them, in accordance with the classification mentioned in the aforementioned article.

The Council also approved the amendment of its resolution (24045 of 2023), regarding the Ministry of Industry and Minerals to take over the processing of the Justice Book and Real Estate Registration Departments with real estate agencies and bonds, in order to ensure the printing of the needs of the real estate registration and the law book departments in all the Ministry of Justice, not the agencies and the real estate bond (25) only, as well as the General Company for Food Products / Ministry of Industry and Minerals, amending its founding statement in line with the activity mentioned in accordance with the law.

In the direction of cooperation in the judicial and legal field with friendly countries, the Council agreed to authorize the Minister of Justice to negotiate and sign a draft cooperation agreement, between the Government of the Republic of Iraq and the Government of the Republic of Bangladesh, in the field of transferring those sentenced to deprivation of liberty, based on the Constitution, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare the necessary document of authorization on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Iraq to the Minister of Justice, in accordance with the adopted contexts and submit it to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers; to obtain the signature of the Prime Minister.

In the field of following up Iraq’s contribution to international efforts to combat climate change, the Council of Ministers approved the retention of the members of the permanent negotiating delegation for climate change, and the possibility of replacing them except as stipulated in the Diwan Order (24115 of 2024), and securing financial allocations for the participation of the members of the permanent negotiating delegation for climate change in the various climate meetings, as well as the annual climate conference, in accordance with the laws, regulations and instructions in force. The Ministry of Finance finances the amount established by the Ministry of Environment.