NEWSLETTER DATE: 10TH OF JULY 2012 / VOLUME 9
The role played by Iraq at international and regional levels is growing notably, as an Arabic leader country, the same as its role in the latest evolutions in the Middle East, and especially in trying to find an accept-able solution for the Syrian crisis, based on dialogue and followed by the democratic election of a Government able to respect the people’s aspirations and its need for freedom, as expressed by the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, regarding the means to solve the crisis.
The Iraqi diplomatic mission in Bucharest was involved, in June, in the visit to Bucharest of the delegation led by the Iraqi National Security Advisor, Falih al Fayyad, during which we had the opportunity to witness a very fruitful exchange of views and experience between the Iraqi and the Romanian side in the relevant field.
Another aspect we should mention is the meeting of the Iraqi Ambassador with His Excellency the Romanian Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Mr. Ovidiu Silaghi (details in the next newscast), event proving both parties interest in enhancing bilateral cooperation, by means of a series of projects aiming to consolidate the connection between Iraq and Romania by air, as well as by railways and sea.
Ambassador Mohammed Al- SHAKARCHI
Shahristani: Iraqi Oil Reserves Represent 11% of International Oil Reserves
The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussein al-Shahristani confirmed, during his visit to Indonesia that Iraq has huge reserves of oil that represent about 11% of the total international oil reserves in addition to a huge reserve of natural gas.” Shahristani added on Wednesday, June 27th, that “Iraq has more than 400 expected hydro-carbonic sites which have not been inspected yet,” stressing the Iraqi Gov-ernment’s readiness to supply Indonesia with its requirements of crude oil.” The Deputy Prime Minister Shahristani discussed with the Deputy President of Indonesia, Chairman of Trade and Industry Bureau and a number of representatives of the senior companies and investors there, the means of consolidating the economic ties between the two countries. Also, he invited the Indonesian companies and investors to participate in reconstructing Iraq.
Iraq and Jordan Sign Energy Agreement
According to a report from AKnews, Iraq’s Coun-cil of Ministers has agreed to authorize the Minister of Oil to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Jordan in the areas of oil and energy. The five-year agreement includes the construction of a pipeline to transport crude oil and natural gas through the Jordanian territory. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said: “[This] shows the keenness of the Iraqi Government to develop a clear and appropriate action mechanism to promote cooperation between the two sides in the field of oil and gas, as Iraq has large reserves of crude oil and natural gas that meet the local demand and export the surplus, in light of the growing need of Jordan to import these materials to support its development plans.“ The agreement includes supplying Jordan’s crude oil, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and heavy fuel oil needs, depending on their availability.
Opening of Strategic Studies Center
Iraq celebrated the opening of the new Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 17, 2012 in Baghdad. The center was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, in coordination with the Government of Iraq, according to the Strategic Frame-work Agreement.
The June 17 opening ceremony launched a three-day Iraqi Regional Security Seminar featuring presentations from scholars and experts from Iraq, U.S. and other countries. The seminar’s objective was to define strategic relationships and reinforce the commitment to partnership and cooperation between Iraq, the U.S. and regional partners.
The center, which includes Iraq’s National Defense University and National Defense College, the Iraq War College, and the Iraq Language Institute, will facilitate regional dialogue and serve as a basis for partnership building between Iraq and other nations throughout the region. The $15 million complex, with funds from the U.S. Embassy, was completed in two years and represents Iraq’s commitment to professional development and strategic studies for senior Iraqi officials. The complex features first-class conference and meeting facilities, video teleconference capabilities, classroom buildings, and a student center, completed with a library, auditorium and coffee shop. Senior Iraqi leaders will receive education in areas such as defense economics, civil-military relations, leadership and management, regional security issues and strategic resource planning. The center will also engage academic partners, both regional and international, to facilitate out-of-country military-to-military exchanges for training and development.
The Al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies reflects the Iraqi – U.S. cooperation under the auspices of the Strategic Framework Agreement to strengthen security and stability in Iraq.
Two Billion Dinars Allocated to Renovate Historical Ur City
The Iraqi Ministry of Tourism allocated 2 billion Iraqi dinars to renovate the historical Ur city in preparation of the expected visit of Pope Benedictus XVI.
The Media responsible Hakim al-Shammari declared that the Minister ordered “no visit to Ur Zaqura in order to start its renovation and rehabilitation”.
Minister of Toruism Liwa’ Smaisim disclosed at the beginning of June that there are talks with Vatican regarding the Pope’s visit in the coming few months.
Pope Benedictus XVI is expected to visit Prophet Abraham’s shrine in Thi Qar province.
Work Meeting of the Ambassador of Iraq with the Romanian Minister of Transport
The Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq in Bucharest, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Shakarchi, met Friday, July 6, 2012, with the Romanian Minister of transport and infrastructure, H.E. Mr. Ovidiu Silaghi, at the headquarters of the Ministry, in the context of the joint efforts of the two countries to enhance bilateral economic cooperation in all sectors.
Regarding the transport sector, the two parties highlighted the importance of establishing, or, better said “resuming”, the direct flight to connect the two countries as soon as possible, as well as the development prospects in various fields such as rail and ship transport.
On this occasion, both parties emphasized the importance of the expected visit to Romania of the Iraqi Minister of transport, warmly welcomed by his Romanian counterpart.
The two parties pointed out their countries interest in expanding bilateral cooperation, considering the history and tradition of the Iraqi-Romanian relations and the perspective of new meetings in the future. In conclusion of the meeting, H.E. Mr. Ovidiu Silaghi expressed his great content regarding the visit of the Iraqi Ambassador, offering him Romanian traditional gifts.
Meeting with the President of the Foreign Policy Committee within the Romanian Senate
On 21st of June, 2012, His Excellency the Iraqi Ambassador, Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Shakarchi, as well as the other Ambassadors of Arab States accredited to Romania met the President of the Foreign Policy Committee within the Romanian Senate, Mr. Mircea Geoana, in presence of the Turkish Ambassador (taking into consideration the geopolitics of the region) and with the participation of the members of the above mentioned committee and of officials from the Romanian Foreign Ministry, at the headquarters of the Romanian Parliament. Mr. Geoana had invited the Ambassadors to similar meetings, within his initiative of developing the Romanian foreign policy.
In what concerns the Arab countries, they discussed, on one hand, the problems and obstacles encountered, and on the other hand, the ways of consolidating the bilateral relations, as well as the general situation of the region, at parliamentary, diplomatic, economic and cultural levels, approaching the issue of the political, economic and geostrategic developments of the Middle East and the region of the Black Sea. The attendants exposed their opinion regarding the problems encountered in developing the economic relations, notably in the field of investments in Romania.
In his turn, the Iraqi Ambassador talked about the achievements of the Iraqi diplomacy during the transitional stage and in the context of building the democratic regime (the Baghdad Summit and the meeting of the 5+1), pointing out the efforts made by the Iraqi Embassy and the Romanian side, in order to reach an agreement, on the basis of the drafts of the cooperation agreements, and of organizing (by the Embassy together with the Chambers of Commerce of Bucharest and Baghdad) of the first Iraqi Romanian Forum focused on economy and investments, with significant results upon facilitating the cooperation, and discussing, in the same time, the future program of the Embassy.
Senator Raymond Luca also referred to the visits of the Iraqi Parliamentary delegations to Romania, showing that the experience of relations development between Iraq and Romania represents a model of cooperation.
Meeting with Governmental Counselor
Within the series of efforts meant to consolidate the political and economic cooperation between Iraq and Romania, His Excellency the Iraqi Ambassador received in his office in the Iraqi Embassy, on Thursday, June 21st, 2012, Mr. Sorin Encuțescu, Counselor in the Romanian Government, and Mr. Liviu Mureșan, President of Eurisc Foundation, who expressed their readiness to participate in the consolidation of the strategic cooperation between Iraq and Romania.
In his turn, Mr. Ambassador thanked the guests for their visit and expressed his willingness to expand the perspectives of the economic cooperation between the two countries.
Visit of the Iraqi Delegation of the Committee for Regions and Governorates to Romania
The Iraqi delegation of the Committee for Regions and Governorates in the Iraqi Parliament, headed by M.P. Mansour Abdulrazzaq Al-Tamimi, visited Romania between June 16th and 20th, 2012, at the invitation of the Romanian equivalent parliamentary committee.
The program of the visit included numerous meetings with the Romanian side representatives, namely the Secretaries of State of the Ministry of Interior, of the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as several heads of parliamentary commissions.
Mr. Ambassador, Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Shakarchi, accompanied the delegation to its meetings with the Romanian side, and he of-fered a lunch in honour of the delegation members, in one of the Arabic restaurants in Bucharest, in presence of the representatives of the Iraqi community in Romania and of prominent Romanian personalities from various circles of the Romanian society. The members of the delegation expressed their appreciation for the interest showed by His Excellency towards the visiting delegation and for the efforts made in order to en-sure the success of the visit. On Wednesday, June 20th, His Excellency took his leave of the delegation members, wishing them to be successful in service of Iraq, and in laying the foundations of democracy through their parliamentary work.
The Iraqi Delegation of the National Security Advisory
The Iraqi delegation of the National Security Advisory, led by Mr. Falih al Fayyad, visited Romania between June 24th and June 29th, 2012, at the invitation of Mr. Iulian Fota, Presidential Advisor for National Security.
On this occasion, the members of the delegation were received by the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Andrei Marga and the Minister of Justice, Mr. Titus Corlățean, participating, in the same time, to a series of other fruitful meetings with representatives of the Romanian authorities, such as Mr. Raed Arafat, State Secretary of the Ministry of Health.
In the context of the dialogue generated on this occasion, both sides recalled the long tradition of the Iraqi-Romanian relations at political and economic levels, pointing out the experiences of the two countries concerning the process of transition from totalitarian states to democracy, the Romanian side expressing its full availability for sharing its own experience of this complicated process to its Iraqi partners.
NEWSLETTER DATE: 10TH OF AUGUST 2012 / VOLUME 10
Before starting this new volume of our newscast it is mandatory to mention that the whole Islamic world is currently living moments enriched with the highest values of spirituality and solidarity with all humans in the framework of the Holy Month of Ramadan, at once opposing to the use of religion for purposes which do not correspond to its divine objectives. Ramadan symbolizes the source of all hopes for better times of peace and harmony liable to create and strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation between peoples and individuals.
Ambassador Mohammed Al- SHAKARCHI
Maliki Heads Meeting of Iraqi National Security Council
The Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki headed, on Sunday, July 29th, a meeting of the Iraqi National Security Council, comprising Ministers of foreign affairs, interior, finance, defense, justice and the national security advisor, as well as a number of senior officers and security officials. A statement issued by Maliki’s office cited that “during the meeting, the latest developments in the Syrian crisis and its impact on the security situation in Iraq were discussed.” In the same time, the statement showed that “the Special Committee which inspected the border areas with Syria submitted a report on the ongoing developments and measures to be taken, while a series of resolutions where adopted concerning the process of receiving Syrians refugees and accommodating them in special camps provided with all required services.”
Iraq Participates in Arab League Council Meetings in Doha
On July 24th, 2012, the Iraqi Foreign Under-secretary for Policy Planning and Bilateral Rela-tions, Mr. Labeed Abbawi, chaired the Iraqi delegation participating in the meetings of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee, and the Arab Ministerial Committee on the situation in Syria, in addition to the meeting of the Arab League Council held in Doha on July 22nd, 2012, in order to follow the latest developments on the Palestinian and Syrian arenas. During the meeting, several decisions and statements were issued concerning the latest developments in Syria, offering possible solutions for ending the deepening crisis and for ensuring the peaceful transition of power. The meeting agreed to form a $ 100 million fund from the member States of the Arab League in order to deliver urgent humanitarian aids, consisting of food and medical supplies, to the Syrian people. On the other hand, the meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee issued a statement in support of the Palestinian Authority against the Israeli intransigence in refusing negotiations and stressed the need to move in quick steps to strengthen the Palestinian national unity. On this occasion, the Palestinian President expressed his thanks and gratitude to the Iraqi Government for providing $ 25 million in support of the Palestinian Authority, in light of the current difficult circumstances.
Demarcation of Borders with Kuwait Continues
The Secretary of State for Federal Security within the Ministry of Interior, Lt. General Ahmed Al-Hafaji, confirmed that the operations for land border demarcation with Kuwait are continuing without any problems.
In its turn, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed that the meetings held in Baghdad at the end of April, with the Iraqi Government, resulted in agreements regarding the final demarcation of land borders, pointing out that the issue of the Iraqi debts towards Kuwait wasn’t mentioned during these meetings. The Secretary of State of the Kuwaiti Ministry of For-eign Affairs, Khaled Al-Jarallah, declared that the meetings which took place in Baghdad resulted in numerous agreements, the most important of which was focused on the maintenance of border marks between the two countries, while a decisive agreement was made concerning the demarcation of maritime and land borders and navigation in Abdallah Bay, in addition to creating a common commission of the two sides for supervising the application of the agreement.
UN in Iraq Provides Support to the Iraqi Returnees and Refugees from Syria
The United Nations in Iraq is working with the Government of Iraq, UN agencies in the region and other relevant organizations to respond to recent developments and address the needs of Iraqi returnees and refugees from Syria.
“We are closely monitoring developments and are providing support wherever we can,” said Mr. Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq. “My Deputy conveyed to the Minister of Displacement and Migration, Mr. Dindar Najman, during their meeting on July 23rd, that the UN is ready to respond to the Prime Minister’s call for assistance and support the Iraqi returnees, especially now that the situation is rapidly evolving.”
The Iraqi Red Crescent had announced on Thursday, July 26th, that the number of Iraqis returning from Syria since July 19th, had reached 9500 citizens. The spokesman of the Association, Mohammad al-Khuzaie declared that: “1,500 Iraqi citizens had entered Iraq on July 25th, 900 of them through Al-Qa’im border point and 600 through al-Waleed, while Rabia had not witnessed any entry of Iraqi citizens or Syrian refugees because the Syrian army controls it”, adding that “The Red Crescent has provided all humanitarian supplies to all returnees”.
“The United Nations also welcomes the Government’s decision to open the border to refugees and its willingness to extend its hospitality and protection to victims of violence in Syria who are seeking safety in Iraq,” he added.
The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, is present at all three border crossing points and at returnees’ disembarkation points, and is working to establish a new camp for refugees.
In the same context, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki’s office re-ported, on Friday, July 20th, that the Prime Minister called all Iraqi citizens in Syria to return to their country, promising to forgive those who took negative positions but didn’t kill innocent people: “We call our Iraqi citizens of all genders and ages to re-turn to their country, taking into account the difficult security situation in Syria. This will pave the way towards peace, security and cooperation.” the statement added.
Iraq and Iran Preparing a MoU for Development of Tourism
The Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced on Saturday, July 28th, that a high-level delegation headed by the Minister, Dr. Liwaa Sumaisem, visited Teheran, in order to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for developing the two sectors of tourism and antiquities, as well as in what concerns the maintenance of archaeological sites. The information director of the Minister’s office, Hakim Al-Shammari, declared that: “the delegation comprised several personalities representative for the fields of tourism, antiquities, religious tourism and manuscripts.”
Previously, the same month, The Minister of Tourism and Antiquities had received the Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad at the headquarters of the Ministry, holding talks about the bilateral relations between the two countries and ways of developing them in service of the common interests of the two countries.
The Iranian Ambassador expressed his great admiration for the achievements made by the Iraqi Ministry in the area of tourism and antiquities, thanking Minister Sumaisem for his efforts in enhancing the archaeological and touristic cooperation with Iran.
In the same time, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Council Sadr Al-Din Al-Qabanji, condemned last week the collective oppression against Muslims in Myanmar, criticizing the global silence towards this matter, while the international and Islamic community asked for the prosecutions to cease. Pictures and videos were diffused, containing images of tremendous murders and collective fires, perpetrated against Muslims in Myanmar by gunmen and security agents. The declaration of Al-Qabanji, under the supreme religious authority of Ali Al-Sistani, is considered to be the first reaction to such actions.
The Muslims community in Myanmar represents aprox. 20% of the country population, according to some statistics, while according to other sources, such as the declarations of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), their number equals not more than 4% of the population only.
Iraqi Delegation Participating to Ramsar Conference
On Thursday, July 5th, 2012, H.E. the Iraqi Ambassador to Bucharest, Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Shakarchi, received in his office the members of the Iraqi delegation of the Ministries of Water Resources and Environment, together with a representative of the Foreign Ministry, arrived in Bucharest in order to participate to the conference of Ramsar Organization, led by the general director of the Center for Restoration of the Iraqi Marshlands, Mr. Hani Fakhri Naji, together with 4 of the 9 members of the delegation.
During the meeting, the delegation discussed several issues related to its activity, and H.E. the Iraqi Ambassador promised them the full support, expressing his point of view upon several issues regarding Iraq in the above-mentioned conference. The meeting was fruitful and the members of the delegation left Mr. Ambassador’s office grateful for the warm reception and hospitality he showed them.
Actually, the Embassy and the Ambassador offered the delegation all the needed support, helping them to work at their best, and Mr. Ambassador invited the head of the delegation together with the other members, as well as the representative of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at lunch, on Sun-day, July 8th, 2012, at Anatolia Restaurant.
Participation to the Meeting of the Romanian Foreign Minister with the Arab Ambassadors
The meeting of the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Marga, with the Arab Heads of Mission accredited to Bucharest, which took place on July 10th, 2012, at the headquarters of the Roma-nian Foreign Ministry, was attended by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Shakarchi and it gave rise to several discussions related to the stage and the perspectives of the relations between Romania and the Arab States, as well as to finding ways of sustaining the evolution of these relations which represent one of the priorities of the Romanian foreign policy. The head of the Romanian diplomacy ex-pressed his satisfaction regarding the ascending trend of the Romanian-Arab relations, which is also reflected in the volume of the commercial exchanges between Romania and the Arab States, registering in 2011 an amount of over 4 billion USD (an increase of almost 45% compared with the previous year).
NEWSLETTER DATE: 10TH OF SEPTEMBER 2012 / VOLUME 11
If we mention that Iraq realized remarkable progress in several fields, such as the construction of a democratic State and the reconstruction of its economics and daily life, this may trouble many people who were influenced by some dramatic events, caused especially by terrorists and the rest of the saddamist hordes, or by some difficulties (here and there), but we have to remind these people that, in order to properly evaluate the progress realized since 2003, we have to remember the situation Iraq witnessed, in what concerns the country, as well as the people, after 35 years of destructive dictatorship with its bloody repression, devastating wars and inhuman culture diffused during these tragic years. In the present times, we have a country in reconstruction and a people regaining its human rights of thought and expression, of pro-testing, organizing, traveling and accessing the internet, the books and the information and varried programs broadcasted by many radio stations, TV channels and journals. This is the reason why we shouldn’t doubt that Iraq realized this progress with relatively huge steps…
Ambassador Mohammed Al- SHAKARCHI
Iraqi Dinar Redenomination Planned to Be Launched in July 2013
The Iraqi Parliamentary financial committee states, on Thursday, August 9th, 2012, regarding the cutting of zeros off the Iraqi dinar, that the redenomination is planned to be launched in July 2013. The Central Bank of Iraq eliminated all related concerns, the committee assuring that the Iraqi Government will be supporting the project after examining its pros and cons.
“The financial committee is supporting cutting zeros off the Iraqi dinar and its redenomination,” the member of the parliamentary financial committee, Haitham Al Jabouri showed, deeming it necessary for the Government to take part in this project, taking into account its responsibility regarding the country’s financial policy-making.
The Central Bank eliminated all concerns related to the dinar redenomination, such as money laundering or inflation in-crease, by forming special committees to control any similar impacts.
Foreign Minister Meets Special Representative of UN Secretary General and Head of UNAMI
Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, discussed, on August 15th, 2012, with the Special Representative of UN Secretary General and Head of UNAMI, Martin Kobler, Iraq’s relations with the UN and the upcoming programs for the UNAMI mission in Iraq. During the meeting, both officials discussed the situation of the Syrian refugees in Iraq and the need for cooperation between the UN and the competent Iraqi authorities to provide the required humanitarian supplies for them. The number of Syrian refugees in Iraq reached 14.000 persons in Kurdistan Region and Anbar Province. As a consequence of the violence and the ongoing fighting in Syria, 26.000 Iraqis returned during the last period to their country. Minister Zebari also touched upon the Iraqi – Kuwaiti relations and the recent developments, as well as the need for an active role played by the UN to help the two countries in treating these out-standing issues.
Zebari Discusses with Hillary Clinton the Visit of U.S. High Level Delegation to Baghdad
On August 22nd, 2012, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari and the American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, discussed, in a telephone conversation, a number of joint issues, especially related to the coming visits and meetings, in addition to the upcoming visit of a high level American delegation to Baghdad.
Another main issue they approached was the situation of Syrian refugees and the Iraqi and international efforts made in order to provide the required humanitarian aid and assistance, in addition to the exchange of views and consultations regarding Iraq’s regional relations and the repercussions of the Syrian crisis upon the neighboring countries.”
The two sides asserted that Iraq does not support any regional interference in the Syrian status, rejecting the militarization of the conflict. The two sides agreed on continuing the bilateral communications and consultations.
Meeting of Iraqi – American Political, Diplomatic Coordination Committee
The meetings of the Iraqi – American Political and Diplomatic Coordination Committee began in Baghdad on Sunday, September 2, with the attendance of the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari and the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, Elizabeth Jones. A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed that, during the meeting, the discussions covered International and regional issues, among which the Syrian Crisis and the situation of the Syrian refugees in addition to the international efforts to put a stop to the bloodshed. In the same time, the Iraqi-Kuwaiti relations and the role of the American and Security Council in helping Iraq exit Article VII were reviewed. It is worth mentioning that the Committee was established in accordance with the Strategic Frame Agreement signed in 2008, in order to consolidate bilateral relations within the frame of the Strategic Partnership, covering a number of important fields, such as security, defense, energy, law supremacy, education, culture, environment, trade and finance, as well as the cooperation in the field of communication.
Turkish Foreign Minister Visits Kirkuk
The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visited north Iraq city of Kirkuk, on Sunday, September 2nd, 2012, a day after Davutoğlu’s meeting with the leader of the northern Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Masoud Barzani, with whom he held talks focused on the conflict in Syria. The two sides agreed to make common efforts in order to help the Syrian people to achieve their legitimate aspirations for a free and democratic country.
Cooperation Agreement for Transportation Concluded with Afghanistan
According to an official statement, the Iraqi Minister of Transporta-tion, Mr. Hadi al-Amiri hosted his Afghan counterpart, Dawod Ali Najafi and the delegation accompanying him, concluding, on Thursday, August 30th, 2012, an agreement of joint cooperation to promote the mutual cooperation between the two countries.
Amiri mentioned in a joint press conference with the Afghan Minister, after concluding the agreement, that ”Iraq is witnessing a revolution of development, so we are keen to establish relations with other countries, especially the Islamic ones.”
Oil Ministry: Iraqi Oil Exports are Worth USD 8.442 Billion in August
The Ministry of Oil stated that during the month of August 2012, the value of the oil exported by Iraq had reached 8.442 Billion USD. A spokesman of the Ministry, Asem Jihad, declared on Saturday, September 1st, that Iraq’s daily export of oil reaches an average of 2.656 mil-lion barrels, at the price of $ 106 per barrel, resulting in the highest profit registered in the last two decades. During the month of July, the value of the oil exported by Iraq reached $ 7.577 billion, sold at a price of $ 97.141 per barrel.
Celebrating 150 Years of Romanian Diplomacy
On Monday, September 3rd, 2012, H.E. the Iraqi Ambassador to Bucharest, Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Shakarchi, participated to the official opening of the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy, which took place at the headquarters of the Romanian Parliament, and was inaugurated by the Foreign Minister, Mr. Titus Corlățean, in presence of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, President of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea, and Vice President of the Senate, Petru Filip.
This year’s edition of the reunion, organized between September 3rd and 6th, under the theme “Romanian diplomacy after 150 years – vision and perspectives 2020” had a special significance, celebrating 150 years since the establishment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
NEWSLETTER DATE: 10TH OF OCTOBER 2012 / VOLUME 12
The October issue of the newscast will offer its reader the occasion to steal a glance at the latest international events Iraq took part in, starting with the 67th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The meeting was held at the end of September and it gave rise to a series of significant meetings for the Iraqi high officials taking part in it, who took this opportunity to present Iraq’s position towards the main issues of international interest (especially those related to the Arab countries) as well as the place of Iraq in the world.
In the same direction and concerning the Iraqi-Romanian relations, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for establishing direct airways between the two countries constitutes a turning point for further bilateral relations and cooperation in many fields(…) This event will contribute to strengthening the presence of Iraq on the international scene.
Ambassador Mohammed Al- SHAKARCHI
Foreign Minister Participates in the Annual Arab Ministerial Meeting in UN
The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, participated, on September 26th, 2012, in the Arab ministerial meeting on the side-lines of the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, held in New York.
The meeting was hosted by Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, international and Arab joint Representative on Syria, who outlined the results of his contacts with the various parties, countries and members of the Security Council.
The Arab issues were also reviewed before the General Assembly, notably the Palestinian issue, the upcoming Arab-Latin Summit to be held in Lima – Peru, the Helsinki Conference on Disarmament and making the Middle East a nuclear weapons free zone.
Mr. Zebari talked about the position of the Iraqi Government towards the developments of the Syrian crisis and its readiness to support Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission, underlining the importance of consultations between the Arab delegations during the meetings of the General Assembly.
Maliki Receives Syrian Opposition Delegation
On Friday, September 14th, 2012, during the visit to Baghdad of a Syrian opposition delegation, led by Mahmoud Daham al-Muslit, head of the Foreign Affairs office of the National Syrian Council in America and Canada, the Iraqi Premier, Nouri al-Maliki, underlined Iraq’s readiness to support the Syrian people in finding a solution for the Syrian crisis and stopping the civil war and the internal conflicts.
The two sides discussed the updates of the Syrian crisis and the means of stopping the bloodshed by reaching a peaceful solution.
Maliki confirmed that Iraq will not spare any effort to support the political solution of the difficult situation in Syria, asking the delegation to make use of the experience his country possesses in what concerns the transitional stage.
Foreign Minister Meets Ashton
On 25th of September, 2012, the Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hoshyar Zebari, met the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, at the International Peace Institute Head-quarters. The meeting focused on discussing cooperation horizons between Iraq and the EU in light of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed between the two sides on May 11th, 2012, in addition to the arrangements for receiving the EU delegation by the end of October 2012, in order to set the executive framework of action between the two sides.
Khuzai Discusses Latest International Updates on Occasion of UN General Assembly
On September 23rd, 2012, the Iraqi Vice-President, Khudair al-Khuzai, headed for New York, in order to participate to the 67th Session of the General Assembly of the UN.
On this occasion, he met the US President Barrack Obama, discussing with him the latest international political updates and the bilateral relations between the United States and Iraq.
Previously to this meeting, Mr. Khudair al-Khuzai held talks with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Martin Kobler, regarding the current Iraqi issues and the means of releasing Iraq from the Seventh Chapter of the UN’s Charter, and with the Tunisian Foreign Minister, Rafiq Abdul al-Salaam, with whom he analyzed the means of developing the mutual relations.
Iraq participated to the 67th UN General Assembly, held at the UN headquarters on September 25th, 2012, with a delegation headed by Vice-President, Khudair Al Khuzaie, and composed of many Iraqi high officials, such as the Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, many members of the Iraqi Parliament and heads of departments within the Ministry of Foreign.
Iraq, Jordan to Build Oil Pipeline
Iraq and Jordan have agreed, on Thurs-day, September 20th, 2012, to build a pipeline to supply Jordan with crude oil and natural gas, ac-cording to the Jordanian News Agency Petra.
The Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi [Elaibi] said that the pipeline would carry crude oil to the Jordanian refinery in Zarqa to meet Jordan’s needs and to the Aqaba Port for export purposes.
According to the same statement, authorities in Baghdad have already signed a contract with an international consultant company to prepare a report on the project, which has a planned capacity of 1 million barrels per day (bpd).
It was also agreed that the volume of crude oil provided to the Kingdom of Jordan to increase from 10,000 barrels per day to 15,000.
The Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Alaa Batayneh, showed that a joint committee, chaired by ministers from both countries, will convene every six months, while subcommittees, headed by secretaries general, will meet every three months, in order to follow up on the implementation of the agreement.
Iraqi Infrastructure Law to be Discussed
A few days ago, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki threatened to move forward with a draft law on Iraqi infrastructure – with or without the approval of the Parliament. The law, which has been discussed for several years already, would allow the Government to sign contracts with international firms on infrastructure projects in Iraq, improving services in areas like water sup-ply, power and education. The infrastructure law would allow the Iraqi state to basically take out “loans” with companies tasked with the jobs, and then repay them at a later date. The law was added to the 2012 federal budget, but when the Parliament voted on the draft budget, the related paragraph was re-moved.
Iraq 2nd Biggest OPEC Oil Producer
The Iraqi oil production continues to grow at a good pace. Having recently breached the three million barrels of oil in a day mark, it is now producing a monthly average of over 2.6m b/d, the most in the last three decades, according to Falah Alamri, the head of the State Oil Marketing Organisation. With Iran’s oil production having stalled recently, potentially due to oil sanctions or lack of investment, Iraq has now overtaken it to be-come the second-largest oil exporter in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, making $8bn per month in revenue from oil exports on an average price this year of more than $100/b.
UNESCO to Restore Iraq’s Leaning Minaret
UNESCO has agreed to repair Iraq’s leaning mina-ret, known as al-Hadba and built more than 800 years ago, representing one of Iraq’s major attractions, The cylindrical minaret, situated in the northern city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, is in urgent need of rehabilitation, as its inclination is reported to have reached dangerous proportions. The minaret is part of a mosque, called the Great Mosque, the oldest surviving structure of its type in the city. According to an official statement, the Governor of Nineveh, Atheel al-Najafi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO, whose representatives visited Mosul for the specific purpose of inspecting its ancient wonders, through which the organization engaged to re-store al-Hadba. Al Hadba is often called the Pisa of the Middle East in reference to the famous leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
Ancient Babylon to Be Restored For Tourists
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki approved the funding for reconstructing historical sites, infrastructure and hotels for Babylon Province, meant to receive 100bn dinars (around $85 million), as it is considered to be Iraq’s archaeological and historical capital. The main goal of this project is to attract tourists to the region, which hosts the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, where the Hanging Gardens were supposed to have been. Much of the ancient ruins were thoughtlessly rebuilt under Saddam Hussein, many of them burying ancient artifacts. Iraq has had plans to make the area a cultural center since 2006 and the site opened to tourists in 2009.
More International Airlines Arrange Direct Flights to Iraqi Airports
Many major foreign airlines have scheduled flights to Baghdad and some have added other major Iraqi cities to their destinations, and this fact is indicating that the country is slowly returning to normalcy. The busiest Iraqi airports are now Baghdad, Arbil and Basra, but, lately, the airport of Najaf has also emerged as a destination for international scheduled flights, particularly from countries with Muslim Shiite minorities. The cities of Najaf and Karbala are visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. The Emirates currently runs three direct flights one to each of Baghdad, Basra and Arbil, while the Romanian Civil Aviation authorities have recently signed a MoU with the Iraqi authorities, in order to open a direct flight between the two countries. Prior to Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq had a fleet of 15 modern planes. Nowadays, a signal of the country’s economic progress and integration into the world markets is the $5.5 billion contract signed with Boeing.
Meeting with the Romanian Ambassador to Baghdad and Geopolitica Review Editor-in-Chief
On 17th of September 2012, Mr. Ambassador received in his office the Romanian Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Iacob Prada, and the editor-in-chief of the Romanian review Geopolitica, Mr. Vasile Simileanu. During the meeting, they discussed the development of relations between Romania and Iraq, especially the visit of the Iraqi Minister of Transportation, Hadi Farhan Al-Ameri, to Romania, accompanied by the general director of the Civil Aviation Authority and the President of the National Railway Company, and other officials, pointing out the significance of signing a memorandum of understanding by the Romanian and Iraqi Civil Aviation Authorities, which represents a starting point for opening a direct airway between Romania and Iraq. This is considered to be a great step on the way to developing the bilateral relations, which the Iraqi Ambassador is making continuous efforts to achieve since 2011.
On the same occasion, Mr. Ambassador talked with Mr. Simileanu about preparing a special issue of “Geopolitica” review, dedicated to Iraq – „Iraq – Energy and Security Strategies”, which will be elaborated in cooperation with Iraqi, Romanian and foreign officials and professors. Ambassador Prada expressed his appreciation to-wards this project and his desire to take part in it by contacting important figures in the field.
Arab Ambassadors’ Council Hosted by the Jordanian Ambassador
On Wednesday, September 12th, 2012, Mr. Ambassador participated to the Arab Ambassadors’ Council, held at the residence of the Jordanian Ambassador, and attended by the Foreign Affairs State Secretary Dan Petre, as well. Among other significant issues approached during the meeting, the attendants discussed Romania’s relations with the Arab States and its position concerning the peace process in the Middle East, and the Palestinian State issue.
In the context of bilateral relations, the Iraqi Ambassador presented the visit of the Iraqi Minister of Transportation in Romania, marked by the signing of a MoU between Iraq and Romania, for opening a direct airway between the two countries.
In his turn, Mr. Dan Petre expressed his content for the success obtained, underlining its importance upon the development of the relations between Iraq and Romania.
Visit of the Delegation of the Iraqi Ministry of Transportation to Bucharest
The Iraqi delegation of the Ministry of Transportation, headed by the Iraqi Minister Mr. Hadi Farhan Al-Amiri, arrived in Bucharest on Sunday, September 9th, and was welcomed, at Henri Coanda International Airport, from the Iraqi side, by H.E. the Iraqi Ambassador, accompanied by the members of the Iraqi Embassy, and, from the Romanian side, by the Secretary General of the Romanian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Mr. Horațiu Buzatu.
The Iraqi delegation included the general director of the National Company for Civil Aviation, Mr. Naser Hussein Bandar, the head of the National Railway Company, Mr. Rafi Yousif Abbas, as well as other high representatives of the National Maritime Transport Company and the National Company of Iraqi Ports.
The delegation held meetings with Romanian high officials, such as the Romanian Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Mr. Ovidiu Ioan Silaghi, the Presidential National Security Advisor Iulian Fota, who received the delegation at the Transport Ministry headquarters, respectively at Cotroceni Palace.
The visits resulted in signing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Iraqi and the Romanian Civil Aviation authorities, regarding the opening of a direct airway connecting Baghdad and Bucharest.
The visit of the Naval Shipyard DAEWOO, located in the south-eastern Romanian city of Mangalia, which had a great importance, was followed by a boat trip to Constanta Port facilities, as well as a series of meetings with the presidents of Romanian companies, such as: Gram-pet Group, MB Telecom company, ASTRA Arad Company, and Autocamioane Brasov.