Politics


Iraq to create new Comms and Informatics Company

The Iraqi Cabinet held its regular weekly meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.

The Cabinet:

  • discussed public services in Basra, and received briefings on federal and local efforts to improve water and other essential services in the province.
  • received briefings on delivery of essential services in other regions of Iraq, with a focus on southern provinces.
  • discussed maintenance and upgrade works to several key bridges in Dhi Qar, Al-Muthana and Babylon provinces, and authorised the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Municipalities to take the necessary measures to complete these projects.
  • discussed internet and telecommunications services in Iraq and voted to merge the State Company for Internet Services and Iraqi Telcommunications and Posts Company (ITPC) into one new company to be known as The General Company for Communications and Informatics.

The Cabinet also discussed the draft federal budget law for next fiscal year.

(Source: Iraqi Govt)

Al-Amiri Withdraws Candidacy for PM

Leader of Iraq’s Badr Organization Hadi al-Amiri withdrew his candidacy for prime minister on Tuesday, putting the country one step closer to forming a government after months of political stagnation.

Amiri heads the Fath (Conquest) Alliance, an electoral bloc which came in second in May’s national election. His coalition has been vying to build the largest bloc which would form the government, with him as prime minister.

“I would like to announce to the dear Iraqi people the withdrawal of my candidacy for prime minister, to open the way for serious dialogue to elect a prime minister and his government according to the vision of the Supreme religious authority,” he said in a news conference, Reuters reported.

Amiri’s Alliance has been in advanced talks with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to form a new alliance in recent days.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Abadi under fire from Pro-Iran Political Factions

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Tension is rising in the conflict between embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), as the United States and Iran vie for influence in the new government that lawmakers are struggling to form in Baghdad.

Legislators are still arguing over which coalition of political parties holds the majority of parliament seats; the top group will select the new Cabinet. The United States would like to see Abadi appointed for a second term as prime minister, but he is strongly opposed by members of the Fatah Alliance, which includes pro-Iranian factions of the PMU.

Anti-Abadi sentiment is escalating, compounded by rioting in Basra — even as Abadi announced Sept. 13 he would immediately begin implementing development projects to help remedy the dire situation there. Basra, Iraq’s main port, is suffering from a lack of basic services. Tens of thousands of citizens have filled hospitals, sickened by drinking water that is heavily polluted and high in salinity. Abadi promised a new water-pumping system as well as filtration projects.

Click here to read the full story.

Video: Are Pro-Iran Parties on the rise in Iraq?

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqis could finally be getting a working parliament.

On Saturday, MPs elected a new speaker, ending months of political deadlock following May’s election.

But concern is growing that control of Iraq’s politics may be swinging towards pro-Iranian parties.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad:

Empowering Women to build Sustainable Peace in Iraq

Empowering women key to building a sustainable peace in Iraq

Over the last few years, Iraq has gone through extraordinary changes, and Iraqis faced a unique set of difficult conditions exacerbated by conflict and terrorism.

Iraqi women in particular have had to bear a heavy burden, including internal displacement, economic hardship, violence and discrimination.

In response to the difficult and unique situation faced by Iraqi women, the Iraqi government in partnership with civil society, women groups and international organisations have developed a set of policies to address gender inequality, and to ensure women’s unhindered and equal participation in building the peaceful and prosperous Iraq that we all aspire to.

One of the most significant measures to empower women is the Iraqi National Action Plan to for women and girls (INAP), which was adopted to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

The launch of the INAP in February 2014 was a milestone for Iraq, making the country the first in the Middle East and North Africa region to adopt such a measure.

Resolution 1325 aims to achieve equal participation of women, and to promote gender equality in peace and security decision-making processes.

Iraq’s National Action Plan, which runs through to the end of 2018, sets out several goals to strengthen legal protection for women, identifies actions for increasing women’s participation at all levels in the political process and earmarks several pieces of legislation deemed to violate women’s rights with a view to either amending or repealing them.

And although the current National Action Plan does not specifically address some key areas such as women’s participation in conflict resolution and reconciliation, it remains a significant and timely policy reflecting the determination of the Iraqi government to address gender inequality in Iraq.

More importantly, it paves the way for Iraqi women to play a leading role in building an inclusive and sustainable peace.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

Empowering Women to build Sustainable Peace in Iraq

Empowering women key to building a sustainable peace in Iraq

Over the last few years, Iraq has gone through extraordinary changes, and Iraqis faced a unique set of difficult conditions exacerbated by conflict and terrorism.

Iraqi women in particular have had to bear a heavy burden, including internal displacement, economic hardship, violence and discrimination.

In response to the difficult and unique situation faced by Iraqi women, the Iraqi government in partnership with civil society, women groups and international organisations have developed a set of policies to address gender inequality, and to ensure women’s unhindered and equal participation in building the peaceful and prosperous Iraq that we all aspire to.

One of the most significant measures to empower women is the Iraqi National Action Plan to for women and girls (INAP), which was adopted to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

The launch of the INAP in February 2014 was a milestone for Iraq, making the country the first in the Middle East and North Africa region to adopt such a measure.

Resolution 1325 aims to achieve equal participation of women, and to promote gender equality in peace and security decision-making processes.

Iraq’s National Action Plan, which runs through to the end of 2018, sets out several goals to strengthen legal protection for women, identifies actions for increasing women’s participation at all levels in the political process and earmarks several pieces of legislation deemed to violate women’s rights with a view to either amending or repealing them.

And although the current National Action Plan does not specifically address some key areas such as women’s participation in conflict resolution and reconciliation, it remains a significant and timely policy reflecting the determination of the Iraqi government to address gender inequality in Iraq.

More importantly, it paves the way for Iraqi women to play a leading role in building an inclusive and sustainable peace.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

Iraqi Parliament appoints new Speaker

By John Lee.

The new Iraqi Parliament (Council of Representatives) has selected Mohammed Halbusi [Mohamed al-Halbousi] (pictured) as Speaker.

Aged 37, Halbusi is the youngest person to serve as Speaker.

According to Anadolu Agency, he won 169 out of 298 votes, while his rival Khalid al-Obeidi, former defense minister, won 85 votes.

He is a member of the Al-Hall (Solution) party, and has most recently server as Governor of Anbar province.

(Sources: Iraqi Parliament, Anadolu Agency)

 

Religious Tourism Suffers from Sanctions on Iran

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s religious tourism suffers from US sanctions on Iran

US economic sanctions on Iran are stemming the flow of religious tourists to neighboring Iraq, even as the Muslim holy month of Muharram has already begun on Sept. 11. Also approaching is Ashura, the Shiite commemoration of the death of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, on Sept. 20.

Officials say the number of Iranian religious tourists traveling to Iraq has fallen significantly because of the penalties against Tehran, which Washington reinstated Aug. 7.

Click here to read the full story (registration required).

Iraqi Planes return to Damascus after 7 years

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi planes land in Damascus following 7-year hiatus

Following a seven-year hiatus caused by the economic embargo imposed on Syria and the unstable security situation, an Iraqi civilian airplane landed Aug. 20 for the first time at Damascus International Airport. Syria used this step politically and deemed it a victory for the Syrian army against terrorism, as was announced by the Syrian Minister of Transport Aug. 20.

In conjunction with growing air traffic, the director of Damascus International Airport, Nidhal Mohammed, revealed Sept. 12 that the number of arrivals to the airport increased by 20% over the same period last year, and the proportion of air freight also increased 15% from last year.

Prior to the return of the Iraqi airplane to Damascus, Iraqi Airways refrained from operating direct flights to Damascus, except for transit flights. Meanwhile, Syrian companies were transporting Iraqis to Damascus and vice versa — especially visitors to religious sites in Syria.

Click here to read the full story.

Video: Iran claims Missile Attack on Kurdish Rebels in Iraq

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) confirmed on Sunday that it had launched deadly missile attacks against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq a day earlier.

Rockets struck the headquarters of two Iranian Kurdish opposition parties in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region with reports saying at least 11 people were killed and 50 others wounded.

The missiles hit the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) in the town of Koya, 300km north of Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

It was the first such attack since 1996.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad: