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Don961: How does corruption in Iraq threaten ordinary citizens and foreign investors?

The website of a modern diplomat published a report on the political and humanitarian challenge that has become as important and perhaps more complex than terrorism in Iraq.
The British website pointed out that the levels of corruption in Iraq have witnessed an unprecedented rise, which negatively affected the basic relationship between the Iraqi state and its citizens.

Samantha Maalouf, an international relations research assistant, said ordinary citizens were the only ones at risk because of the country’s endemic culture of xenophobia and foreign investors, such as the French telecom giant Orange, And their exit from the market, which requires enormous support.

“The lack of credibility and legitimacy of official government institutions in Iraq is the focus of the many difficulties in the country “

The lack of credibility and legitimacy of official government institutions in Iraq is at the heart of the country’s many difficulties, including the government’s futile attempts to fight the state’s organization during its first offensive in 2014, to the graft that appears to have been carried out in every national bureaucracy.

For example, the impact of this corruption on governance is what is happening in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, where the region is dominated by Barzani’s powerful family, which recently gained a degree of “ownership” in its control after the election of two of its members, Messerur Barzani and Najran Barzani, As Prime Minister and President of the Territory.

Maalouf said the failure of Barzani’s family to seize one of the country’s most prominent investors – Orange France – also illustrates the absolute sense of immunity felt by Iraqi leaders when it comes to plundering the country’s wealth for themselves. Economic statistics in the region remain bleak despite years of foreign aid.

Despite its oil wealth, the region is facing stagnation, high unemployment and power cuts, the control of construction projects and government ministries has made public education in the region face severe shortages in schools and teachers, she said.

While international companies such as Orange find refuge in foreign havens, ordinary Iraqis find that they have no choice but to live with organized corruption and lack of accountability every day.

In the face of such a bleak picture, unless the governments that govern Iraq seriously consider its handling of the country’s resources, it is only a matter of time before the next major period of instability begins.

Source: Modern Diplomat      link

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Don961:  Iraq’s fourth Arab possession of US bonds

Friday 19 July 2019

Baghdad / follow-up

Iraq raised its ownership of US Treasuries by 40.41 percent in May on a year-on-year basis, up 9.9 billion dollars.

According to US Treasury data, Iraq’s holdings of US Treasuries were $ 34.4 billion,To $ 24.5 billion in May 2018.

Iraq ranked fourth among the Arab countries that own US bonds, after the Saudi Arab list topped $ 179 billion, the UAE $ 53.2 billion and Kuwait $ 41.4 billion.

Reduction of debt instruments

On a monthly basis, Iraq continued to reduce its ownership of US debt instruments for the second month in a row; after falling in May compared to its value of $ 35.4 billion in April 2019, a decline of $ 1 billion, percent.

Iraq’s ownership of US bonds was $ 36.2 billion in March 2019.

Iraq’s holdings of US debt instruments have fallen slightly to 0.6 percent since the start of the year, compared with a $ 34.6 billion stake by the end of the year 2018.

Treasury bills investments

What the US Treasury has disclosed in its monthly statements is US investments in US Treasuries and Treasury bills only, not including those in the United States, Governmental or private.

Globally, China topped the list of US bondholders in May 2019, with $ 1.110 trillion, followed by Japan at $ 1.101 trillion, Saudi Arabia ranked first ten.

Value of US Bonds

US bonds rose 5.2 percent in May on a year-on-year basis to $ 6.539 trillion, from $ 6.215 trillion in the same month in 2018.

US bonds rose 1.6 percent in May from April to $ 6.434 trillion, an increase of $ 105.5 billion Dollars.

In April, Iraq raised its ownership of US debt instruments by 58.04 percent year-on-year.    link