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16. October 2023 16:44
A meeting convened today in Iraq’s capital, where Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani received delegations participating in the 39th session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Justice. The event, attended by various Arab Ministers of Justice, also saw the presence of the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
During the meeting, discussions were held concerning the enhancement of Arab cooperation in legal and judicial areas. Prime Minister Sudani expressed an interest in fostering stronger relationships among Arab nations, advocating for increased collaboration across various sectors.
A luncheon hosted by the prime minister followed the meeting, where further discussions and exchanges presumably took place.
Additionally, Sudani articulated Iraq’s position on the Palestinian issue, calling attention to the ongoing situation in the Palestinian territories. He urged for collective Arab efforts to address the challenges faced by the Palestinian people.
Iraqi Minister of Justice Khaled Shawani chaired the session where a spectrum of issues was deliberated. Shawani reported that discussions encompassed topics like Arab agreements concerning the combat against terrorism and financial corruption. “The session’s work touched on many Arab agreements to combat terrorism and financial corruption, prosecute the corrupt, and enhance cooperation between Arab countries to unify Arab legislation in various fields,” Shawani said.
Furthermore, the session manifested solidarity with the Palestinian populace, echoing calls for the 'cessation of attacks on civilians' in the Gaza Strip, lifting the siege, facilitating aid delivery, and putting an end to the prevailing aggression.
The KRG delegation is set to depart for Baghdad Tuesday, meeting with the Iraqi parliament's Finance Committee Wednesday to discuss salaries and budget-related matters, according to pro-KDP K24.
The delegation includes notable figures such as Awat Sheikh Janab, the minister of finance and economy; Omid Sabah, the head of the Office of the Council of Ministers; Amanj Rahim, secretary of the Council of Ministers; Abdul Hakim Khasraw, head of the Coordination and Monitoring Office, alongside various advisors.
More reactions have emerged from Iraq regarding the war in Gaza and Israel
Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbousi welcomed the President of the Palestinian National Council, Rawhi Fattouh, along with his delegation on Monday. According to a statement from Halbousi’s office, the meeting centered on several critical issues, prominently featuring the grim circumstances prevailing in the Gaza Strip.
Key discussion points
Situation in Gaza: Dialogues primarily centered on the continuous bombing and encirclement of the Gaza Strip, leading to adverse humanitarian consequences for its inhabitants.
Humanitarian relief: Both sides underscored the urgency of establishing pathways for humanitarian assistance and safeguarding the civilians in the conflicted areas.
Unified Arab stance: Discussions underscored the necessity of a consolidated Arab stance on the transgressions occurring in Gaza.
Iraq's position: Halbousi emphasized Iraq’s 'unwavering solidarity' with Palestine—a consensus he says is shared across the nation’s people, parliament, and government. He reiterated Iraq’s steadfast commitment to the establishment of an autonomous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. He also made references to the resolutions made by the Iraqi parliament and government, condemning the offenses against the Palestinian populace and endorsing the Palestinian cause.
Recent parliamentary resolutions
Following this, the Iraqi parliament enacted several resolutions concerning the war, as delineated below:
Condemnation of actions: Parliament denounced the actions perpetrated by "the usurping Zionist entity," which includes acts of killing, displacement, and home demolitions, reaffirming Palestine's entitlement to safeguard their territories and rights.
Support from Iraq: Iraq's House of Representatives urged the government to initiate requisite measures aimed at offering relief and backing to the Palestinian populace, focusing primarily on inhabitants of the Gaza Strip.
Arab parliaments: A call was made for an urgent assembly of the Union of Arab Parliaments in Baghdad, intending to forge a unified position resonating with the collective aspirations of the Arab communities.
UN's role: A fervent appeal was made to the United Nations, urging immediate actions to facilitate the efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians
Security Council involvement: Calls were made urging the Security Council to undertake essential actions to cease the escalating violence, fatalities, and forced displacements besieging the Palestinian community.
Donation outlets: The parliament also expressed its backing for the inception of formal avenues to facilitate both governmental and non-governmental financial contributions aimed at supporting the Palestinian people.
صوت مجلس النواب في جلسته الثانية والعشرين التي عقدت برئاسة سيادة رئيس المجلس محمد الحلبوسي اليوم الأحد، على مقررات مناقشة موضوع القصف الوحشي على قطاع غزة، وانهى قراءة ومناقشة قانونين.
وباشر المجلس بالتصويت على مشروع قانون الهيأة الوطنية للرقابة النووية والاشعاعية والكيميائية والبايولوجية المقدم من لجنتي الصحة والبيئة والتعليم العالي والبحث العلمي للاستفادة من الاستخدامات السلمية للطاقة الذرية في المجالات الطبية والزراعية والصناعية والتعليمية واجراء البحوث التطبيقية المتعددة ولضرورة تجنب المخاطر الكامنة للاشعاع المؤين على العاملين والمجتمع والبيئة ومن ضمنها التصرف غير المشروع للمواد النووية والكيمياوية والبايولوجية والمصادر المشعة ولوضع اطار قانون للسيطرة عليها والتحقق من أمنها.
وصوت المجلس على المقررات الخاصة بمناقشة القصف الوحشي على قطاع غزة والحصار المفروض عليها والتي نصت على، ادانة سياسة الكيان الصهيوني الغاصب في قتل وتهجير وهدم المنازل ويؤكد حق الفلسطينيين في الدفاع عن ارضهم وحقوقهم المغتصبة، ندعو الحكومة العراقية باتخاذ كافة الإجراءات الكفيلة باسناد واغاثة الشعب الفلسطيني وخصوصا في قطاع غزة ودعوة البرلمانات العربية الشقيقة لعقد جلسة طارئة لاتحاد البرلمانات العربية في بغداد لاتخاذ موقف ينسجم مع إرادة الشعوب العربية، ومطالبة الأمم المتحدة بالعمل الفوري على فتح منافذ لإيصال المساعدات الإنسانية العاجلة الى الشعب الفلسطيني، والدعوة الى مجلس الامن لتحمل مسؤوليته باتخاذ ما يلزم لوقف التصعيد والقتل والتهجير ضد الشعب الفلسطيني، وفتح منافذ رسمية للتبرعات والمساهمات الحكومية وغير الحكومية لدعم واسناد الشعب الفلسطيني، التأكيد على موقف العراق الثابت والداعم من القضية الفلسطينية وحق الشعب الفلسطيني في إقامة دولته وسيادته الكاملة على أراضيه.
وارجا المجلس التصويت على مشروع قانون جهاز الامن الوطني العراقي المقدم من لجنة الامن والدفاع.
كما أنهى المجلس القراءة الأولى لمشروع قانون انضمام جمهورية العراق الى الاتفاق الدولي لزيت الزيتون وزيت الماىدة لعام 2015 المقدم من لجنة العلاقات الخارجية من أجل السعي الى تحقيق التماثل في التشريعات الوطنية والدولية المتعلقة بالخصائص الفيزيائية والكيميائية والمذاقية لزيت الزيتون وزيتون المادة بغية الحيلولة دون نشوء أي عقبات امام التجارة والقيام بأنشطة في مجال الاختبارات الفيزيائية والكيميائية والمذاقية.
وأكمل المجلس قراءة تقرير ومناقشة مشروع قانون تصديق البرتوكول العربي لمنع ومكافحة القرصنة البحرية والسطو المسلح الملحق والمكمل للاتفاقية العربية لمكافحة الجريمة المنظمة عبر الحدود الوطنية، المقدم من لجنة العلاقات الخارجية.
بعدها تقرر رفع الجلسة الى يوم غد الاثنين.
مجلس النواب العراقي
16. October 2023 14:56
Electoral rolls complete for Dec. election
The head of the media team at the Iraqi Higher Independent Election Commission, Imad Jamil, confirmed the finalization of voter register forms for the upcoming provincial elections’ polling stations. This announcement is a pivotal development as Iraq readies itself for its first local provincial council elections since April 2013.
In a dialogue with Al-Sumaria News, Jamil communicated that "The Board of Commissioners has sanctioned the final forms for the general public voting stations and the security forces' exclusive voting stations." He disclosed that the public voting stations had registered 35,553 voters, while the private security forces’ stations had enlisted 2,367.
Jamil also highlighted the establishment of 120 stations specifically allocated for internally displaced persons, ensuring the presence of both paper and electronic voter registers at these locations.
The anticipated provincial elections are scheduled to take place on December 18.
16. October 2023 14:37
Iraqi foreign minister Urges EU to oppose Gaza siege, facilitate humanitarian support
Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein has called on the EU to take a decisive stance against the ongoing blockade in the Gaza Strip and to ease the delivery of humanitarian aid through the Rafah crossing. Hussein made this appeal during a Monday meeting with Thomas Seiler, the EU Ambassador to Iraq.
In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hussein underscored Iraq's resolute stance against the forced removal attempts in the Gaza Strip. He urged the EU and European governments to oppose the siege assertively, facilitate the opening of the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid deliveries, and condemn the policy of deporting Gaza’s inhabitants to Sinai in Egypt.
The discussion also included talks on enhancing bilateral relations, focusing on widening economic partnerships and cooperation across various sectors between Iraq and the EU. They also deliberated on regional occurrences, primarily the evolving situation in occupied Palestine.
Ambassador Seiler echoed these sentiments, expressing the EU’s enthusiasm to expand collaborative initiatives with Iraq, praising the efforts of Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in bolstering the relations between the two entities.
Central Bank governors from Iran and Oman met Sunday on the sidelines of the annual International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Morocco. The discussion focused on speeding up Iran’s access to funds previously frozen in Iraq and now moved to an Omani bank, as reported by Fars News Agency.
Iranian Central Bank Governor Mohammad Reza Farzin and Omani counterpart Taher Bin Salim Abdullah Al-Amri engaged in dialogue aimed at bolstering monetary, banking, and trade relations between the two countries. Both officials confirmed the transfer of a portion of the assets, initially held due to U.S. sanctions and owed to Iran by Iraq for gas imports.
Following negotiations in August, the U.S. allowed the transfer, stipulating that Tehran should not use the funds as "leverage" against Iraq.
The talks occurred a month after the U.S. consented to release Iranian assets in South Korea for humanitarian purchases, aligning with an Iran-U.S. prisoner swap deal. However, the current status of these assets is uncertain amid escalating tensions over Iran’s ties with the militant group, Hamas, and speculation that the $6 billion could be refrozen.
This comes as Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has refutes claims that the U.S. and Qatar agreed to bar Iran from accessing $6 billion recently unfrozen and transferred to a Qatari bank.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Permanent Mission to the United Nations dismissed a report that claims the United States and Qatar had agreed to prevent the Islamic Republic from accessing $6 billion recently unfrozen and transferred to Qatari bank.
16. October 2023 14:27
Some Sulaymaniyah teachers end boycott
Classes have partially resumed for 12th-grade students in Sulaymaniyah schools, according to Spee Media, a privately-owned outlet. The decision comes as part of an effort to prevent delays in this year’s academic curriculum.
The Director General of Education in Sulaymaniyah has been holding consistent meetings with school principals to ensure the academic year continues without interruption.
Many schools – mostly in the PUK-controlled regions of the Kurdistan Region – in Sulaymaniyah province, Koya in Erbil province, Halabja province, and Raparin Administration, have not reopened for the new academic year due to concerns regarding delayed salaries. The KRG has not disbursed the salaries for August and September amid ongoing budget law disputes with Baghdad.
The boycott has affected around 700,000 students, constituting nearly 40% of the 1.8 million students across the Kurdistan Region.
Anglo-Turkish oil firm Genel provides update on Kurdistan Region production
Anglo-Turkish oil company Genel Energy has released an update on its operations in the Kurdistan Region, stating, "Gross production from Tawke license in the 3rd quarter was 25,984 barrel of oil per day (bopd)."
"Production was shutdown following the closure of the Iraq-Türkiye pipeline on 25 March 2023. The Tawke field was reopened on 18 July and production has since ramped up, with the contractor share of crude oil from the field during the quarter sold to local buyers with payments received directly in advance. No crude oil was delivered to the Kurdistan Regional Government for export by pipeline through Türkiye."
In 2022, the average gross production at the field was 107,090 bopd, and in the first quarter of this year, it was 93,880 bopd.
Genel Energy, and four other International Oil Companies (IOCs), have recently expressed concerns, stating that they might not resume oil exports without clear assurances on payment, even if the Iraq-Turkey pipeline (ITP) is ready to restart.
On 4 October, the Association of the Petroleum Industry of Kurdistan (Apikur) mentioned, "Even if the ITP reopens, the member companies of Apikur will not be in a position to produce oil for pipeline exports until it is clear how International Oil Companies ('IOCs') will be paid for their contractual entitlements of oil already sold and delivered for export in the past and for future sales of such oil for export," adding that members are "owed nearly $1 billion in overdue and unpaid arrears."
Apikur has stated that the closure of the Iraq-Turkey has resulted in substantial financial losses, costing the government of Iraq, the KRG, and Apikur member companies a combined total of $7 billion in lost export revenues.
One killed two missing on Iraq-Iran border – Hengaw
One person was killed and two are missing near the Iraq-Iran border, according to the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights. A 60-year-old man from the Kurdistan region of Iraq was fatally shot by Iranian armed forces along the border on Sunday afternoon.
Hamad Khidir, a Razgeh village resident in Sulaymaniyah province’s Pishder area, was reportedly in the border area for livestock trading purposes. Two others were with Khidir during the incident and are currently unaccounted for.
A joint Iraqi and Kurdish security taskforce has arrested a terror suspect in Sulaymaniyah province. The Iraqi counter-terrorism forces have shared a video of the arrest.
16. October 2023 13:33
Kurdistan Region visit to Baghdad is discretionary, says spox Peshawa Hawramani
The KRG spokesperson said that the Erbil delegation’s visit to Baghdad is discretionary, meant to demonstrate the regional government’s earnest intentions to settle unresolved issues between Erbil and Baghdad.
Peshawa Hawramani commented, “The visit of the KRG delegation to Baghdad and their meeting with the Iraqi Parliament's Finance Committee is voluntary and exhibits the KRG’s sincere intent to address all financial disputes between Erbil and Baghdad.”
He further stated, “Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has directed the KRG team to answer all inquiries transparently and to cooperate fully. The KRG aims for a comprehensive solution that safeguards Kurdish citizens’ rights within the Federal Iraqi Constitution's framework.”
The scheduled meeting with the Iraqi parliament's Finance Committee was delayed two weeks ago due to the ongoing review of civil servant salaries and local revenues. This meeting is supposed to be a segment of the continuous dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad on various matters, including the KRI civil servant salaries, pensions, social welfare benefits, non-oil revenues, and earnings from unofficial border crossings.
16. October 2023 13:30
The pro-KDP Bas News, known for its close ties to KRG PM Masrour Barzani, has primarily focused its coverage on the events of Oct. 16, referring to them as the "Oct. 16 treason." The site features multiple op-eds and reports that quote KDP officials discussing the events of Oct. 16.
One piece cites Pshtiwan Sadiq, a member of the KDP Political Bureau and leader of the KDP Organization Bureau in Duhok, who labeled the occurrences as a "black mark" on those "who sold the country," accusing them of ongoing deceit aimed at undermining the Kurdistan Region’s unity.
The KDP accused senior PUK officials of "selling out" Kurdistan by striking a deal with pro-Iranian militias to vacate the disputed territories.
More rcently, the KDP has criticized the PUK for allegedly striking deals with certain Shia parties in Baghdad, actions perceived as weakening the authority of the KRG. A major point of contention has been the PUK’s push to secure direct payments from Baghdad to its controlled province of Sulaymaniyah, bypassing Erbil, especially when payment disputes emerge between the province and Erbil.
16. October 2023 11:47
The PUK Political Bureau has assigned roles to its members as follows
Saadi Ahmed Pira has been designated as the PUK’s spokesperson, replacing Soran Jamal Tahir, who boycotted the party’s conference.
Qubad Talabani will retain his position as the head of the Mam Jalal Secretariat.
Serkawt Zeki will continue to serve as the head of the Organizational Bureau.
Blesa Jabar Farman has been appointed as the head of the Martyrs Bureau.
Emad Ahmed will oversee the Media and Awareness Bureau as its head.
Darbaz Kosrat Rasul has been assigned as the head of the Relations Bureau.
Nizar Amedi will serve as the head of the Political Bureau in Baghdad.
Talar Latif has been entrusted with the leadership of the Legal Center.
Burhani Saeed Sofi will manage the Bureau of Democratic Organizations as its head.
Yousif Goran will lead the General Studies Center. According to the party’s bylaws, he holds authority equivalent to the head of a party office.
Rizgar Haji Hama will serve as the head of the Election Bureau.
Shalaw Sheikh Salah has been appointed as the head of the Office of the President.
Sheikh Ahmed Hama Karim and Shwan Qadir have been assigned to lead the Revenue and Expenditure Departments, respectively.
Ceremony for Peshmerga fighters who lost their lives in the Oct. 16 events
Wasta Rasool gave a speech at the ceremony commemorating Peshmerga fighters who lost their lives in the Oct. 16 events.
Rasool emphasized that they didn't want to fight, but were informed by officials that they had to. He was told that the first bullet must not be fired by them but by the enemy.
He recounted warning officials that the Peshmerga were exhausted and lacked ammunition, while Iraq was well-equipped and rejuvenated after defeating Islamic State. He was assured that the Iraqis were merely posturing and applying pressure.
Rasool highlighted that nobody wanted a war, recalling a press conference held two days prior with an Iraqi commander to discuss the liberation plans for Hawija.
He emphasized the Peshmerga’s resilience, stating that they did not withdraw until their lines were broken, and they did not flee the battlefield.
He described the conflict as a war involving Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, mentioning that orders were being given in Persian in real-time during the battle.
Rasool acknowledged the losses on both sides, noting that 75 members of the PMF were killed on that day by his Peshmerga forces.
He urged respect for their forces, stressing that no one should say their forces didn’t fight.
Wasta Rasool (PUK) was the Peshmerga commander responsible for the fourth sector, which included areas south of Kirkuk before the ejection of Kurdish forces from the disputed territories.
The KRG health minister, Saman Barzinji, is in Baghdad to discuss the Kurdistan Region's share of the sovereign budget related to health needs with Iraqi Premier Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani.
According to a KRG statement, the main goal of the visit is to ensure the federal government meets its obligations to provide medicine and medical supplies, as mandated by the Iraqi Budget Law for 2032. This responsibility is expected to be carried out by the Council of Ministers of the Federal Government.
Sovereign expenditures include costs that the federal government must cover, such as those related to the foreign and defense ministries, including salaries for the Peshmerga forces. Erbil is allocated 12.67% of the budget after the deduction of these sovereign expenditures.
Six years ago today, Kurdish aspirations for statehood oscillated from buoyant excitement to desolation within the span of a few weeks. In late September 2017, an independence referendum promised statehood for the Kurdistan Region, including the disputed territories that the Kurds had controlled during the war with the Islamic State.
By mid-October, Iraqi forces, bolstered by pro-Iran militias, reclaimed the disputed territories, forcing the Peshmerga forces to withdraw across the entire front.
Accusations and blame intensified as the KDP and PUK accused each other of historic betrayals. Despite both of their respective forces vacated the disputed territories they controlled on the same day.
Tensions between the two parties remain almost as palpable as they were on that night. And both parties are relitigating their a media war today in party-owned media outlets and social. Both parties are now seeking to reclaim the narrative surrounding that crucial sequence of events.
Stay tuned as we cover all developments throughout the day.