The Minister of Finance reveals to Shafak News the size of Iraq’s debts: We have reached the end of the green light
On Thursday, Finance Minister Ali Abdul Amir Allawi revealed the size of Iraq’s external and internal debts, warning that the country has reached the end of the green light regarding the size of its debts.
Allawi said in response to a question to Shafaq News Agency, “One of the good aspects of our foreign debt is that most of it belongs to governmental or international institutions and is long-term, and the interest is relatively good.”
And he indicated that “foreign debts amount to 50 billion dollars, and increase and decrease according to repayment, with the exception of bonds amounting to approximately 3 billion dollars, of which one billion dollars will be repaid after 3 months.”
And the Minister of Finance continued, “The other debts are linked to the restructuring of Iraq’s previous debts with the so-called Paris Club,” adding, “We will soon reach the last stages of repaying these debts.”
The Paris Club, a grouping of countries and international financial institutions, was founded in the fifties of the last century, and its function is to provide financial loans to spare countries and entities the risk of bankruptcy.
And a number of countries affiliated with the Paris Club decided in 2004 to write off 80 percent of their debts owed by Iraq since the nineties of the last century.
As for the internal debt, Allawi said that “the internal debt amounted to 75 trillion dinars,” noting that “the last year witnessed a significant increase in the size of the Interior Office as a result of the collapse of oil prices and the need to borrow to fill the deficit in salaries and the budget in general.”
The Minister of Finance considered that “the external and internal debts are reasonable and amount to 80 percent of the national income, but we have reached the last green light and we have not yet reached the yellow light, and we are very careful to enter into other external obligations.”
Allawi pointed out that “internal obligations require more discipline from the state, because when the state borrows locally from the central bank, government banks or the people, our obligations cannot be mocked.”
He explained that “what happened in the last budget, the parliament omitted the payment of interests and installments on most of the internal debts, and this is not possible because it will lose confidence in the ministry and the state regarding paying the interest on time, especially as we are in the process of issuing new bonds. This matter must be adhered to and to restore confidence to the Ministry of Finance and the State when it borrows.” locally”. link
Iraqis are interested in the Baghdad summit as an opportunity to develop infrastructure, improve the economy and facilitate travel
The interest in the Neighborhood Summit in Baghdad shifted from the political elites to the popular circles, as Iraqis hope that this will achieve political stability, economic recovery, and openness to the .world
As for the concerns of the Iraqis, a survey indicates that the Iraqi citizen seeks for his country to be a meeting ground, not a conflict, and that this contributes to economic relations with Iran, Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey, which contribute to supporting the internal situation, providing job opportunities, and working to extinguish the debts .owed by Iraq The Iraqis do not look at the political aspect of the summit except in terms of its ability to create conditions that .contribute to improving infrastructure and attracting investments
Activist Ali Al-Amiri told Al-Masala: We no longer care about political aspects, despite their importance. We want direct results that contribute to strengthening infrastructure projects, improving the financial situation, and .allowing Iraqis to travel easily for medical and tourism purposes
In the case of the results of a summit similar to previous summits inside and outside Iraq, this no longer concerns .the Iraqi citizen
And Iraq invited Iran and its rivals from the Arab Gulf states to attend a summit in Baghdad with the aim of .calming the tension that has pushed the two sides to the brink of open conflict in the past few years
The Iraqis hope that the Iranian presence will contribute to reducing the tension between Tehran and the Gulf states, which is reflected in Iraq, where the polarization will decrease, the prospects for cooperation will open, and .Iraq will be an important economic transit point between Iran and neighboring countries
A politician close to the prime minister said that Iraq, which hosted private meetings between Saudi and Iranian officials this year, had received “positive signals” from Tehran and the Gulf states that it was ready for more direct .talks
This matter clearly concerns the Iraqis, because they believe that they are victims of a regional conflict between .Iran and its allies and between America and its allies on the other hand link
Security spread and cut off major streets in Baghdad in preparation for Saturday’s summit
The capital, Baghdad, witnessed an alert and intense deployment of security forces of all kinds, including the Anti-Terrorism Service, as part of efforts to secure the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership scheduled to be held tomorrow, Saturday.
Security forces intensified their presence in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport and the “Green Zone” in which the summit will be held.
Security sources said that “the security plan also focuses on dealing quickly with emergencies and securing the movement of foreign delegations participating in the summit.”
On Friday morning, the authorities closed a number of main streets and squares in Baghdad, and intensified inspection procedures for pedestrians, as part of a plan to secure the summit.
The permanent members of the UN Security Council, which are the United States of America, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom, are scheduled to participate in the Baghdad Summit, tomorrow, Saturday.
The European Union and the Group of Twenty countries will also participate, in addition to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and Jordan, along with Qatar and Japan, according to data from the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.
Baghdad desires to strengthen its economic relations with neighboring countries and open its doors to investments, especially to establish projects in areas affected by the war against ISIS, as well as Iraq’s restoration of its pioneering role in converging views between the countries of the region. link
Iraq’s Neighboring Countries”…Between Political Reality and Economic Hope
It will be held next Saturday, in light of media speculation about its agenda and will include Saudi Arabia and Iran
– Focuses on “cooperation and economic integration between Iraq and other countries”
– Discusses the regional water crisis, the political and economic crisis in Lebanon and the war in Yemen
Intense efforts on several levels are being made by the Iraqi government in the context of preparations to host the “Iraq’s Neighboring Countries” conference, or what has become known as the “Baghdad Conference for Partnership Cooperation” next Saturday.
Weeks ago, official delegations from the Baghdad government went to convey the invitations of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi to the leaders of Iraq’s neighboring countries, to be held on August 28, with the exception of Syria, and to other Arab and foreign countries.
** Participating Countries
The official spokesman for the conference, Nizar Al-Khairallah, “identified the names of the countries that will participate in the conference, namely the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar and the UAE, in addition to France, and representatives from the League of Arab States, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.”
He noted that the permanent members and representatives of the European Union and the G20 countries “will be observers at the conference and not participate in it.”
**Economic and social integration
According to what was reported by local and foreign media about Iraqi officials, the conference will focus on discussing a number of files to restore stability to the region and reduce the level of tensions between its countries, especially Iran and Saudi Arabia.
However, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry ruled out that the conference agenda would “discuss regional issues”, but would focus on “cooperation and economic integration between Iraq and other countries, which would send positive messages to institutions concerned with economic development and attracting capital.”
Reuters quoted Iraqi officials as saying that the conference will focus on the regional water crisis, the political and economic crisis in Lebanon, the war in Yemen, as well as the recent developments in Afghanistan.
Iraq, according to the statements of its Prime Minister, looks forward to the conference coming out with results that lead to economic and social integration among the peoples of the region in line with Iraq’s vision of the need to establish the best relations with its surroundings and with the countries of the world, and making it a bridge for communication and cooperation among all the countries of the region.
** Conference attendance
It is expected that Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will attend, in addition to French President Emmanuel Macron, who has confirmed his personal attendance to Baghdad.
(Unofficial) reports indicate that the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, will represent his country at the conference, which is likely to be the level of representation of the UAE, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, along with the Kuwaiti Prime Minister and the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Other reports indicated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may attend as a representative of his country, while ambassadors of permanent members of the UN Security Council will represent their countries at the conference.
** Iraqi goals
Al-Kazemi is trying to highlight Iraq’s role as an effective country in its regional environment that can play the role of “mediator” to resolve outstanding crises between its Arab and regional neighbors.
It will also try in the conference to reflect a different image from the stereotypical image of Iraq, which is no longer disputed that its lands have become a fertile environment for external interference and Iranian regional influence in particular, in addition to the inability to address the accumulated internal crises, economic and security.
The countries invited to the conference will converge on a common vision on the threats of terrorist organizations to their national security.
Therefore, it is possible to discuss topics related to the joint coordination between those countries in the fight against terrorism.
**Two main variables
The year 2021 witnessed two major variables that play a key role in shaping the alliances of the countries of the region and rebuilding their relations with each other after President Joe Biden’s arrival at the White House and his policies in the gradual withdrawal from the region’s files, the rise of the “Taliban” movement to power in Afghanistan and the possible repercussions on the stability and security of the countries in the region .
Some US allies that will participate in the conference are also concerned about the possibility of Washington reaching an agreement with Iran on its nuclear file without taking into account the potential threats to these countries from the Iranian program to develop ballistic missiles.
** Iran and Saudi Arabia
Observers are drawn to the level of representation of Iran and Saudi Arabia at the conference.
Iraq exploits its geographical location between Iran and Saudi Arabia first, and it is a corridor for the activities of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon and Syria second, and the presence of armed Shiite groups allied to Iran that are active in threatening the security of Saudi Arabia under Iranian directives, third.
There are other factors that make Iraq an active country in the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the possibility of it playing a role in bringing the two countries’ views closer after clear indications of their desire to normalize bilateral relations, or at least ease tensions between them.
Last April, Iraq hosted several rounds of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia, with the two countries looking forward to more meetings and discussions to reduce tension in their relations since Riyadh cut diplomatic relations with Tehran in early 2016 after the execution of the Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
On April 28, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that his country wanted to establish “good and distinguished” relations with Iran, whose new president, “Ebrahim Raisi”, expressed at his inauguration ceremony as president of Iran on August 5, extending a hand of friendship and brotherhood to countries Neighborhood, and his country’s desire to resolve the region’s crises through a regional dialogue.
It is likely that Iraq will focus on its refusal that its lands be an arena for settling accounts or conflicts between countries, or that its lands be a springboard for aggression against other countries, such as the strikes suffered by Saudi Arabia.
Instead of discussing such issues at an international conference, the government can take certain measures to limit such conflicts, which are often carried out by Shiite armed groups linked to Iran and officially affiliated with the Iraqi government.
With the scale of foreign interference in Iraq’s internal affairs, the Al-Kazemi government will have to take advantage of the conference’s opportunity to push for the curtailment of Iranian interventions in particular, which turned Iraq into a country that is seen as part of Iranian influence, and a springboard for aggression and aggression against neighboring countries from its territory through armed groups allied to Iran.
The Arab presence could also encourage the Al-Kazemi government to open up more to the Arab environment of Iraq, at the same time taking measures supported by those countries to restore the authority of the Iraqi state that is dependent in an important part on the political and armed forces allied to Iran.
The “Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership” will constitute an important step on the path of bilateral dialogues and meetings between the participating countries whose relations have witnessed crises and tensions for years, in addition to the possibility of reaching a common vision to stop the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, which are conflicts in which some of the participating countries participate as actors in the conference. link
Source: Dinar Recaps
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