19.02.2018 – Sind die Zeiten der etablierten Parteien in Irakisch-Kurdistan vorbei? / AL MONITOR
„Nachdem sie 26 Jahre lang das ölreiche Irakisch-Kurdistan regiert haben, stehen die beiden entscheidenden politischen Parteien der Region am Rande des finanziellen und politischen Zusammenbruchs. Während die Funktionäre der Demokratischen Partei Kurdistans (KDP) und der Patriotischen Union Kurdistans (PUK) in luxuriösen Häusern leben, in denen es rund um die Uhr Strom gibt, erhält die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung ihre zuvor bereits gekürzten Gehälter nicht und die kurdische Wirtschaft befindet sich in einer dramatischen Talfahrt, die ein präzedenzloses Maß an Armut und Unmut verursacht. Die Lage ist inzwischen so prekär, dass ein hochrangiger Kommandeur der Peschmerga am 11. Februar damit drohte, Öltanker zu beschlagnahmen, sollte die Kurdische Regionalregierung (KRG) die Gehälter der Soldaten nicht zahlen.
MESOP NEWS SOUTH KURDISTAN : FINISH WITH TRADITIONAL PARTIES – Is the sun setting on KDP-PUK dominance in Iraqi Kurdistan?
Fazel Hawramy February 12, 2018 – AL MONITOR – Article Summary – Poverty, widespread disillusionment and the emergence of new political players could spell the beginning of a new political era in Iraqi Kurdistan.
After 26 years of governing oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan, the region’s two main political parties are on the verge of economic and political bankruptcy.
While officials of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) live in luxurious houses with 24/7 electricity, the majority of residents have not been receiving their salaries, which had previously been reduced, and the Kurdish economy is in a free fall, creating unprecedented levels of poverty and resentment. The situation has become so dangerously unstable that a senior peshmerga commander on Feb. 11 threatened to seize oil tankers unless the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) pays soldiers’ their salaries.
Kurdish Delegation to Attend Valdai Club Conference in Russia
BasNews – 18/02/2018 – 15:54 – ERBIL – A delegation from the Kurdistan Region has been invited to attend the annual Valdai Club Middle East Conference in the capital of Russia. The annual Valdai Club Middle East Conference is jointly held by the Valdai Club and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow in which politicians and experts from over 30 countries will attend to discuss various Middle East-related issues.
Zagros Today @ZagrosToday 5 hours ago – 17 Febr 2018 – Breaking: Reports that Kurdistan Region airports of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah to reopen to international flights under constitutional regulations under by order of Iraqi PM Abadi from the 28 of February – MORE VIA www.mesop.de
18 Febr 2018 – Am Rande der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz sind Neçirvan Barzani, Ministerpräsident der Region Kurdistan, und der irakische Ministerpräsident Haydar El Ebadi zusammengetroffen.
Der Ministerpräsident Südkurdistans Neçirvan Barzani und der Chef des Sicherheitsrats Mesrur Barzani sind am Rande der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz mit dem irakischen Ministerpräsidenten Haydar El Ebadi zusammengetroffen. Bei dem Treffen wurde über die Probleme zwischen Hewlêr (Erbil) und Bagdad gesprochen.
Im Anschluss erklärte Mesrur Barzani, Ebadi habe versprochen, die bestehenden Probleme zu lösen. Bei der Wiedereröffnung der Flughäfen in Kurdistan gebe es noch einige technische Probleme. Sobald diese gelöst seien, stehe der Öffnung der Flughäfen nichts mehr im Weg.
Neçirvan Barzani traf außerdem zu Gesprächen mit der norwegischen Außenministerin Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide, dem italienischen Außenminister Angelino Alfano und der deutschen Verteidigungsministerin Ursula von der Leyen zusammen. www.mesop.de
Iraq Gains $30 Bil In Loans Investments Credits From Kuwait Conference
15 Feb 2018 07:55 AM PST – By Musings on Iraq . Joel Wing
Most of the money promised came from ten main sources. Turkey offered$5 billion in loans and investment. The U.S. said it would contribute$3 billion in financing from its Export-Import Bank. Kuwait pledged $1 billion in loans and another $1 billion in investment. Saudi Arabia said it would contribute $1 billion in investments and $500 million to support Iraqi exports. England stated it would provide $1 billion in export credits for ten years, Qatar added $1 billion in loans and investments, $500 million in investments by the United Arab Emirates, $495 million from the European Union, $330 million from non-governmental organizations, and $100 million from Australia. The World Bank also signeda memorandum with Iraq for $510 million in projects.
Iraq’s Planning Ministry recently issued a reportfor the conference estimating that Iraq needed $88 billion for rebuilding from the war versus the Islamic State and general development. $45.7 billion of that was directly related to the fighting. Iraq received$392 million in contributions for that purpose before the Kuwait meeting.
While Iraq was able to gain a sizeable amount of money from Kuwait there are a number of issues ahead. First, pledges are not always followed through with so Iraq may end up with a lower figure than $30 billion. Second, Baghdad is trying to come up with procedures to ensure that a sizeable amount of the aid, loans, etc. is not siphoned off via corruption. Iraq has not proven that it has the means nor capacity to follow through with those promises yet. Third, it’s not clear how much of this money will go to reconstruction, which is one of the most pressing issues for the country, and how much will go towards general development of the economy. From the media, it doesn’t appear it has close to the $45.7 billion it needs. Iraq is hoping that more money will come from companies investing in Iraq. While private enterprise might be interested in Iraq, going into war damaged areas is probably not the top priority when it came do business in southern Iraq and Kurdistan which are much more stable and therefore have greater potential for profits. Last, relying upon the Iraqi budget to take care of rebuilding is also fraught with problems as Iraq has historically been unable to spend a lot of that money. Overall, that means the dilemma of rebuilding is far from solved.
Baghdad Post, “Abadi launches recaptured districts’ reconstruction, development plan,” 1/3/18
Chmaytelli, Maher, Hagagy, Ahmed, “Iraq says reconstruction after war on Islamic State to cost $88 billion,” Reuters, 2/12/18
Cocker, Margaret and Harris, Gardiner, “Iraq Wants $88 Billion for Rebuilding. Allies Offer a Fraction of That,” New York Times, 2/13/18
Daily Sabah, “Turkey pledges $5 billion as nations commit funds for Iraq reconstruction,” 2/14/18
George, Susannah and Hinnant, Lori, “Few ready to pay to rebuild Iraq after Islamic State defeat,” Associated Press, 12/28/17
Gordon, Michael and Coles, Isabel, “Defeat of ISIS in Iraq Caused $45.7 billion in Damage to Infrastructure Study Finds,” Wall Street Journal 2/12/18
Kullab, Samya, Otten, Cathy, “Reconstruction hopes hinge on Kuwait conference,” Iraq Oil Report, 2/12/18
Reuters, “Iraq gets $330 million in pledges of humanitarian aid: KUNA,” 2/12/18
Rudaw, “$30 billion pledged for Iraq reconstruction at Kuwait conference,” 2/14/18
Sotaliraq, “Parliament takes a decision to cut salaries, compensates the staff of the region and increases taxes,” 2/11/18
UN Development Programme, “The European Union contributes $58.96 million for Iraq stabilization,” 2/12/18
World Bank, “World Bank’s Commitment to Iraq Reaches US$4.7 Billion,” 2/14/18
SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) – Featuring Bilal Wahab – Mediterranean Institute for Regional Studies – February 12, 2018
An in-depth conversation on why corruption, political squabbles, inadequate legislation, and other problems continue to hinder the Iraqi/KRG energy sector, and what the international community can do about it. The following is the edited text of a conversation between Dana Taib Menmy of the Mediterranean Institute for Regional Studies (MIRS) and Bilal Wahab of The Washington Institute.
MIRS: What is the future of energy pipelines across the Middle East—particularly Iraqi ones with Iran—in light of ongoing conflicts in the area?
14 Febr 2018 – Reported Good discussions between KRG @PMBarzani @qubadjt Acting Peshmerga Minister & other officials w/ GEN Votel @CENTCOM Commander @USEmbBaghdad & @USConGenErbil on security & military cooperation, post-ISIS challenges & opportunities, US support for Peshmerga & Erbil-Baghdad dialogue. www.mesop.de
MESOP NEWS KURDISTAN PULSE : IT’S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE ?
Fazel Hawramy February 12, 2018 – Al Monitor – Article Summary – Poverty, widespread disillusionment and the emergence of new political players could spell the beginning of a new political era in Iraqi Kurdistan.
After 26 years of governing oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan, the region’s two main political parties are on the verge of economic and political bankruptcy.While officials of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) live in luxurious houses with 24/7 electricity, the majority of residents have not been receiving their salaries, which had previously been reduced, and the Kurdish economy is in a free fall, creating unprecedented levels of poverty and resentment. The situation has become so dangerously unstable that a senior peshmerga commander on Feb. 11 threatened to seize oil tankers unless the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) pays soldiers’ their salaries.
Seth Frantzman – Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Geography, Post-Doc
“BY, WITH, AND THROUGH”: HOW THE U.S.-LED COALITION DEFEATED THE ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ USING TACTICS WITHOUT COHERENT STRATEGY FOR CONFRONTING IRANIAN INFLUENCE
14 Febr 2018 – The United States has engaged in several years of war in Iraq against the Islamic State (IS) since launching Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve in October 2014. The United States estimates that they have killed more than 60,000 IS members, conducted more than 22,000 airstrikes and trained more than 100,000 security forces throughout Iraq. The successful U.S. campaign is in contrast to past operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere and is best encapsulated in the ” by, with, and through ” approach of letting Iraqis lead operations. This bottom-up approach is…
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