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Iraqi News Wednesday AM 8-20-20

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Today .. Al-Kazemi Meets With Trump And The Reconstruction Of Iraq Tops The Talks

Thursday 20 August 2020  124Baghdad / Al-Sabah / Muhannad Abdul-Wahhab

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi will meet with US President Donald Trump this evening, while he will hold a new round of strategic dialogue between Washington and Baghdad later, and it is expected that the issue of completing the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq will top the agenda of the visit of Al-Kazemi and his accompanying delegation.

According to the delegation, Thursday morning will witness a series of meetings that will focus on the economic side, including a meeting with a number of major companies and economic institutions regarding the reconstruction of Iraq, and according to officials in the delegation: Contracts will be signed with major companies on gas, oil and electricity, in the presence of the ministers of oil and electricity And finance.

Al-Kazemi will also hold a session with American economic institutions, and start the second round of the strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States, the first of which took place via video call on June 12, and Al-Kazemi will hold a meeting with a number of American research centers.

A statement of the Prime Minister’s Media Office, received by Al-Sabah, stated that “Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi will discuss in Washington the strengthening of relations and joint cooperation in several areas, in addition to discussing regional developments.”

The Iraqi delegation received a reception that was described as “exceptional”, as many streets in the American capital were closed, and American officials told members of the Iraqi delegation: “US President Donald Trump requested a reception from the upper echelon at the security level.”

Regarding the intended results of the prime minister’s visit to the American capital, which was preceded by an official visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran, Independent Representative Nada Shaker Jawdat expressed her hope that Al-Kazemi’s visit to Washington and his meeting with the American President would yield positive steps, including activating investment to support the economy in the country and preserve The unity and sovereignty of Iraq from any interference or aggression on its Iraqi borders, and to keep it away from the circle of political struggles that make its land an arena for it.

In an interview with Al-Sabah, Jawdat said: The most important thing that should be discussed in the talks is preserving the unity and sovereignty of Iraq and focusing on the economic file, because it is one of the priorities, in addition to the exit of US and foreign forces from Iraq and the recovery of Iraqi money smuggled abroad, indicating that The visit represents a good opportunity that must be invested in building Iraq and joint work with the international community, which is possible if support is provided to the Iraqi industrial and agricultural sectors and with the help of world countries, the general situation in Iraq will change.

Jawdat stressed the need for the results of the visit to be positive and in the interest of Iraq in all industrial, agricultural and security sectors, because the country’s security stability will generate positive results for the work of all other sectors and thus will reflect positively on the labor market and contribute to limiting the spread of unemployment, indicating that Iraq now needs stability. In all respects, because it suffered a lot, so Iraq must rise, and this will not be achieved if everyone does not unite in order to achieve this ambition.

Multiple reports indicated that Iraq and Al-Kazemi enjoyed everything that was required to bridge the gap between Washington and Tehran, as Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi had lines of communication with the various conflicting capitals in the region, which was what Washington could benefit from during the visit, but Al-Kazemi confirmed, prior to his travel To the United States, that Iraq will not play the role of mediator between Tehran and Washington, and he continued: “And I will not be Postman”.

During a meeting with the US Institute of Peace a few days before Al-Kazemi’s visit, the Commander of the US Army’s Central Command, Kenneth MacKenzie, affirmed that his country’s military presence “in Iraq will change in coordination with the Iraqi government,” suggesting that “Al-Kazemi is moving in the right direction and the United States should support it.”  LINK 

Minister Of Finance: Signing Three Agreements With American Companies

Thursday 20 August 2020  50  Washington / Zina Ibrahim  Today, Thursday, the Ministry of Finance announced the signing of three agreements with well-known American companies to support the economy, finance large projects and develop the electricity sector.

Today, Thursday, Finance Minister Ali Abdul Amir Allawi said: “Three agreements have been signed with the American side, the first of which is with USAID to restore their programs in Iraq and support the Iraqi economy, especially in the field of social development,” indicating that the agency is one of the largest institutions that contributed to the operations Reconstruction of Iraq. ”

He added that “the second agreement was with one of the US government institutions that supports direct investments by taking shares in corporate institutions, including Iraqi companies, and they will be an important source in financing large projects.”

With regard to the third signature, Allawi said, “It has been with the Ji Electrical Equipment Company to finance major projects in the electricity sector. The agreement will be important for rebuilding the electricity sector and power generation in Iraq.”

He continued that “the Agency for Development with the American Foundation for Investment Support will provide up to five billion dollars and will be in installments and will be directed towards development projects for the purpose of developing the Iraqi economy.”  LINK 

The Legal Department In The House Of Representatives Approaches The Public Prosecutor To Initiate A Criminal Case Against The Former Head Of The Baghdad Provincial Council

08/20/2020   Based on the directive of the First Deputy Speaker, Mr. Hassan Karim Al-Kaabi, the Legal Department in the House of Representatives approached the Public Prosecution to move the criminal complaint against Mr. (Riyadh Nasser Al-Adadh), the former president of the dissolved Baghdad Provincial Council, for impersonating the president of the Baghdad Provincial Council and conducting letters bearing his signature as Chairman of the Governorate Council on 8/16/2020.    Information Department  Parliament  8/20/2020   LINK

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi Receives US Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo At His Residence In Washington

Aug 20- 2020  The Prime Minister, Mr. Mustafa Al-Kazemi, received at his residence in Washington, DC, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mr. Al-Kazemi discussed with Mr. Pompeo the most important files of mutual interest, and ways to develop relations between Iraq and the United States on various levels and fields.

They also discussed the file of economic relations and cooperation in the fields of development and investment, and response to the Corona pandemic, as well as bilateral cooperation in the field of combating terrorism and strategic dialogue between the two countries.

The Media Office of the Prime Minister  20- Aug-2020  https://pmo.iq/press2020/20-8-202001.htm

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi Meets Members Of The Businessmen Forum And The American Chamber Of Commerce In Washington

Aug 20- 2020  Within the framework of his current visit to Washington, the Prime Minister, Mr. Mustafa Al-Kazemi met with a number of members of the American Businessmen Forum and the American Chamber of Commerce, in the presence of the US Secretary of Energy Dan Proelt.

At the outset of the meeting, Mr. Al-Kazemi welcomed the members of the Businessmen Forum and the American Chamber of Commerce, and expressed his thanks for their warm hospitality and reception.

Mr. Al-Kazemi pointed to the importance of sustainable strategic cooperation with the United States, and with American companies and banks, and stressed the government’s willingness to remove all obstacles to the work of American companies in Iraq.

And his sovereignty indicated that investment opportunities are available to American businessmen and companies, and called on American banks to cooperate in the development of the Iraqi banking system, to keep pace with international banks as the basis for a major economic openness.

For their part, members of the Businessmen Forum and the American Chamber of Commerce expressed the readiness of major American companies to work and invest in Iraq, and expressed their optimism about the steps of the Prime Minister, Mr. Mustafa Al-Kazemi, since he assumed his duties in the government.

The Media Office of the Prime Minister  20- Aug-2020   https://pmo.iq/press2020/20-8-202002.htm

Al-Kazemi From Washington: Investment Opportunities Are Available To American Businessmen And Companies

Thursday 20 August 2020  66  Baghdad / morning  In the framework of his current visit to Washington, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi met with a number of members of the American Businessmen Forum and the American Chamber of Commerce, in the presence of the US Secretary of Energy Dan Proelt.

At the outset of the meeting, Al-Kazemi welcomed the members of the Businessmen Forum and the American Chamber of Commerce, and expressed his thanks for the warm hospitality and reception.

Al-Kazemi pointed to the importance of sustainable strategic cooperation with the United States, and with American companies and banks, and stressed the government’s willingness to remove all obstacles to the work of American companies in Iraq.

He indicated that investment opportunities are available to American businessmen and companies, and called on American banks to cooperate in the development of the Iraqi banking system, to keep pace with international banks as the basis for a major economic openness.

For their part, members of the Businessmen Forum and the American Chamber of Commerce expressed the readiness of major American companies to work and invest in Iraq, and expressed their optimism about the steps of the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, since he assumed his duties in the government.   LINK

Parliamentary Committees: Ready To Put Laws To A Vote

Thursday 20 August 2020  108  Baghdad / morning  The Security, Defense and Legal Committees in the House of Representatives confirmed that they are waiting for Parliament to resume holding its sessions to approve a number of laws, the most important of which are the Elections Law, the Federal Court, computer crimes and the Ministry of Interior.

The head of the Legal Committee, Rebwar Hadi, said: The House of Representatives voted on the election law, and Article 15 of it indicates that the governorate will have several electoral districts, indicating that his committee will organize the schedule to divide the province into a number of electoral districts.

Hadi added, in an interview with “Al-Sabah”, that the distribution of electoral districts includes three aspects, political, legal and technical, and for the technical and legal sides, the committee will in turn organize these tables for the electoral districts, pointing to the committee that met with the heads of political blocs to take their opinion about the mechanism for distributing electoral districts. Or listen to their proposals, but so far the political blocs have not reached a final agreement on  Distribution mechanism.  LINK

Text Of The Final Statement Of The Meeting Of The Supreme Coordination Committee Between Iraq And The United States

Thursday 20 August 2020  67  Baghdad / morning  Al-Sabah publishes the text of the final statement of the meeting of the Supreme Coordination Committee between Iraq and the United States:

Republic of Iraq – United States  The meeting of the Supreme Coordination Committee

August 19, 2020  The delegation of the government of Iraq, headed by Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein, and the delegation of the United States government, headed by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, held a meeting of the Supreme Coordination Committee today in Washington, DC, in accordance with the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement for a relationship of friendship and cooperation between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq. The two sides affirmed their commitment to a strong and fruitful bilateral relationship. Separate sessions covered topics related to economy, energy, health, environment, political and diplomatic issues, security, counter-terrorism, educational and cultural relations.

In the economic session, Iraq outlined its ideas for economic reform plans that would unleash faster economic growth and a more vibrant private sector.

The United States renewed its support for economic reforms in Iraq and identified areas for cooperation that could help Iraq achieve its plans.

The two countries discussed coordination with international financial institutions to help Iraq recover from low oil prices and the Corona virus, and put the country on a more sustainable fiscal path. The two countries also plan to collaborate in the areas of e-government, financial sector reforms, and private sector partnerships to boost trade and investment between the United States and Iraq. Iraq and the United States are looking forward to holding a meeting of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) later this year to follow up on the July 2019 meeting.

In the energy session, the United States and Iraq discussed the Iraqi government’s efforts to increase domestic electricity and gas production, reduce flared gas waste, and implement energy market reforms. The two governments also plan to hold a meeting of the Joint Energy Coordination Committee soon to discuss these issues in more detail. On the sidelines of the meeting, the Government of Iraq signed sustainable energy agreements with American companies, including General Electric, Honeywell UOP, and Stellar Energy, in addition to memoranda of understanding with Chevron and Baker Hughes, as concrete examples of the energy partnership between the United States and Iraq.

The Delegations of Iraq and the United States indicated the continued cooperation with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to develop plans for electricity tariff reforms in Iraq.

The two governments plan to continue cooperation with the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority on electricity connections in Iraq and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and energy investment, and the United States welcomed the progress made in the talks between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government on the topics of budget and energy.

In the Health and Environment session, the two countries indicated their ongoing partnership in fighting the epidemic and their intention to sign a memorandum of understanding to expand bilateral trade relations in the field of health.

The two governments also discussed the ongoing cooperation in the fields of environment, water and scientific issues, and planning to hold a separate meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee on these issues.

In the political and diplomatic session, the United States reiterated its emphasis on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and the relevant decisions of the Iraqi legislative and executive authorities. The two sides also discussed how best the United States could support the Iraqi government as it prepares for the parliamentary elections, including increasing support for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. The two countries reiterated their support for freedom of expression and freedom of the media, and the need to hold perpetrators of acts of violence against peaceful demonstrators accountable.

The United States supports Iraq’s efforts to improve its relations with neighboring countries, and plans to assist the Iraqi government in this endeavor. The United States also reaffirmed its continued commitment to support Iraq in providing durable solutions for internally displaced people that are voluntary, safe and dignified, and to assist components that have been at risk of extermination by ISIS. Both sides recognized the need to improve access to humanitarian organizations.

In the Security and Counterterrorism session, the United States and Iraq reaffirmed their commitment to achieving common goals through bilateral security coordination and continued cooperation between the Iraqi Security Forces and the US-led international coalition to defeat ISIS.

The two delegations praised the increased capabilities of the Iraqi security forces and their joint success in fighting ISIS, which enabled the international coalition to move to a new phase focused on training, equipping and supporting Iraqi security forces.

The Iraqi government expressed its gratitude to the international coalition and affirmed its readiness to facilitate this transition and its commitment as a host country to provide protection for coalition personnel and diplomatic facilities in Iraq. In order to adapt to the requirements of this new phase, the international coalition was able to leave some Iraqi military bases and reduce the combat forces in Iraq.

The two sides agreed to separate technical talks to manage the times and move to the new phase, including any related redeployments outside Iraq. The American and Iraqi delegations acknowledged the progress made by the Iraqi federal security institutions and the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs in the Kurdistan Region in coordinating their efforts to fight ISIS remnants and discussed ways to enhance this cooperation.

In the education and culture session, the two governments discussed past and current US support for Iraq’s efforts to promote higher education in cooperation with American universities in Iraq, through the Fulbright Program, and through the Higher Education Partnership Initiative of the US Embassy. The United States and Iraq identified additional ways to support Iraq’s plans to address higher education reform priorities and strengthen US-Iraqi university partnerships.

The two sides also reviewed the progress made in returning the Ba’ath Party archives to Iraq, considering it an important artifact in the history of Iraq. The two sides discussed joint efforts to preserve Iraq’s rich cultural heritage and religious diversity, and reaffirmed their commitment to return Iraqi artifacts that had illegally arrived in the United States to their rightful place in Iraq.   LINK

A Government Initiative To Activate The Private Sector And Support The National Product

Thursday 20 August 2020  83  Baghdad / morning  The government is moving to take practical steps to support and activate the private sector and the national product by issuing legal legislation, overcoming obstacles and reducing red tape and bureaucracy in order to enhance economic development in the country. Promoting the national economy, calling for the need to create a real partnership between the public and private sectors. Economist Star Al-Bayati stressed, “the need to support the private sector and activate investment in the state.”

Corruption disrupts investment

Al-Bayati said in a statement to “Al-Sabah”: “Investment is still suspended in the state due to corruption and the domination of some corrupt people and their blackmail to investors,” noting that “the private sector needs real government support to advance it.”

He added, “The government has practical steps to support and activate the private sector and the national product,” stressing that “these steps will enhance economic development because the private sector is one of the important economic sectors that can play a major role in developing the national economy.”

Constraints to the economy

He pointed out that “corruption is the main impediment to the advancement of the economy,” noting that the government has a real vision to combat corruption and advance the economic sectors.

For his part, the specialist in economic affairs, Saleh Al-Hamashi, said in a statement to Al-Sabah: “The government has not yet drawn up a plan for the advancement of the private sector and its contribution to the Iraqi economy. To infrastructure from Two types “.

Activate the laws

He added: “The first legislative type is represented by the Social Security Law, the Insurance Law and the Labor Law that is commensurate with the economic activity of Iraq and other legislation related to the economic sectors, whether industrial, agricultural, or service sectors and developing the financial and administrative system to eliminate bureaucracy and fight corruption.”

He continued: “The second type is material, which is the construction of roads, industrial cities, free markets, energy, ease of entry and exit of materials, determining the annual needs of the country and limiting imports that give the private sector and the national product a great opportunity to compete in the Iraqi market.”

The economy liberalized

He explained that “these basic factors, if activated and acted upon, will be real support for the private sector, stressing that the Iraqi economy needs to be freed from state hegemony as the national economy is still in the hands of the state, and this is one of the obstacles to not activating private sector”.

He emphasized that “these factors, if implemented, would enhance the strength of the private sector in the country in particular.”

And that the state today is in dire need of the private sector in solving the problems of unemployment and poverty, which have witnessed a dangerous increase in recent times and are in a continuous rise that the state institutions cannot absorb, and also help the state in overcoming the economic crisis that Currently ravaged. ”  LINK

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