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The leader of the New Generation Movement says new politicians will emerge in Iraq

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The President of the New Generation Movement, Shaswar Abdulwahid said that new people will emerge and become influential in Iraq’s political affairs, as the country approaches the parliamentary election on May 12. New Generation Movement held a rally in Baghdad on Friday, saying Iraqis should try and choose a new group of politicians as the older parties have already been tested. The Movement wants youths to participate in the political arena, Abdulwahid added. The New Generation also wants to harness youth’s energy and ability in all the provinces of Iraq.

“Whatever youths have, they should give it to the Iraqi nation,” he said. The lives of the Iraqis should be changed as the country has “great revenue”, the Movement’s president noted. Iraq must progress in order to have a strong economy. “We must co-exist. There must not be religious and national differences.” The New Generation Movement is fielding 150 candidates across Iraq in the upcoming elections.

Fuad Masum says relations between Baghdad and Erbil are “normal”

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Iraqi President Fuad Masum said relations between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region are now “normal,” after ties between both sides deteriorated following the Kurdish independence referendum in September 2017. During an interview with the Saudi newspaper Arab News, published on Thursday, Masum said that there is a “calm and unpublicized dialogue” between Baghdad and Erbil. “With regards to ties between Baghdad and Kurdistan, relations are normal and there is dialogue between the two sides,” he said. Baghdad and Erbil need each other, the Iraqi president added, and that neither side will give up on the other.

US starts Iraq drawdown after declaration of victory over IS

in AMERICAS/DEFENCE by

American troops have started to draw down from Iraq following Baghdad’s declaration of victory over the Islamic State group last year, according to Western contractors at a U.S.-led coalition base in Iraq. In Baghdad, an Iraqi government spokesman on Monday confirmed to The Associated Press that the drawdown has begun, though he stressed it was still in its early stages and doesn’t mark the beginning of a complete pullout of U.S. forces. Dozens of American soldiers have been transported from Iraq to Afghanistan on daily flights over the past week, along with weapons and equipment, the contractors said.

Iraqi PM Abadi: “no postponement of elections at all”.

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

BAGHDAD – Speaking during his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi remained inflexible to run parliament and local elections on time, saying there will be “no postponement of elections at all”. He also promised to resolve pending issues with Kurdistan Region, including employees’ salaries. Some Sunni groups have shown a preference to call off elections which the Cabinet had slated for May 12th in order to give time to civilians displaced by the war against the Islamic State militants to repatriate and vote. Speaking about the crisis with Kurdistan Region Abadi said: “We seek to resolve all pending issues with Kurdistan Region, and we are serious about disbursing the salaries of all of the region’s employees”, adding that his government remains eager to resolve all disputes with Erbil. Representatives of the governments of Baghdad and Erbil have discussed over the past week to resolve pending issues caused from a poll the region held in September considered unconstitutional, in which a majority voted for independence from Iraq. Baghdad also prompted it to take over disputed areas and border crossings, and to impose an air embargo on Kurdistan. Another contentious issue between both governments has been the payment of Kurdish employees’ salaries: Baghdad has asked Erbil to make an accurate count of its employees, suggesting paying the salaries from its oil exports’ revenues. Erbil, meanwhile, argued that the revenues would not suffice for the payments, and had also objected to its share in the proposed federal budget.

Kurdish leader: meetings between officials in Baghdad and Erbil to reach a solution of pending disputes

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

On Wednesday, Mulla Bakhtiar, a senior leader at the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, said in statements that a series of secret meetings between officials in Baghdad and Erbil have been held to reach a solution of pending disputes. Talks in Baghdad between the central government and the Kurdistan Region government signed a “detente” in the crisis. Mulla Bakhtiar added in later statements on social media that the meetings have shown that “Baghdad is pretty prepared for dialogue, while the Kurdistan government is working on setting the suitable atmosphere to that end”. “Officially, there will be no clash between Iraqi forces and (Kurdish) Peshmerga troops” Bakhtiar stated, adding “The issue of land and air ports, as well as customs, are currently being handled thoroughly, and after those are resolved, an action plan will start to resolve the budget, payments and disputed territories’ issues”. Bakhtiar also urged the Kurdish government to hold a meeting with parliamentary blocs to agree on points of negotiations with Baghdad to ensure “an inclusive solution”.

Iraqi army kills 4 suicide bombers before crossing into Iraq from Syria

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BAGHDAD – On Thursday, the Commander of the army’s 7th division, Maj. Gen. Nawman al-Zawbai, announced to Alsumaria News that a force from the division killed four suicide bombers wearing explosive belts before trying to cross into Iraq from Syria. His report did not specify the region where the episode happened. Past news reports declared that IS leaders fled Anbar to Syria, where the group is also reportedly nearing a total collapse to U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Russia-backed Syrian government army. Supported by a U.S.-led coalition, the Iraqi army took over Islamic State’s major bastions in Iraq since October. The military command declared the recent liberation of the town of Quaim, on Anbar’s borders with Syria. Only Rawa, a Western Anbar’s town, is still in the militants’ grip. Human rights groups suppose that IS members are using thousands of civilians there as human shields. Iraq is succeeding in eliminating the “caliphate”, the Islamic State’s declared in 2014 from Iraq’s Mosul.

Iraq; Salim al-Jabouri: ” Regional countries’ interference poses threat to Iraq’s stability, security”

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Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri on Sunday revealed that his visit to Erbil to meet with the Kurdistan Region President was meant to “de-escalate tensions” between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The Iraqi Parliament Speaker visited Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, and met with Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani to discuss collective efforts to improve relations between Erbil and Baghdad. “Following the referendum on Sep. 25, the regional countries have become part of the tension [between Erbil and Baghdad] which has posed a threat to the security and stability of Iraq”, Jabouri said in an official statement following the meeting. He explained the meeting was organized “to find a solution to the current turmoil and end the issues between the central government and the Kurdistan Region”.

Iraqi PM: Baghdad will use force ‘if’ Kurdistan referendum results in violence

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Baghdad is prepared to intervene with military power should the upcoming referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region scheduled for Sep. 25 results in violence, said the top Iraqi official on Saturday. The Kurdistan Region has insisted on holding a referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region, to decide whether to secede from the rest of Iraq. Should the people of Iraq be “threatened by the use of force outside the law, then we will intervene militarily”, Abadi told AP. “If you challenge the constitution and if you challenge the borders of Iraq and the borders of the region, this is a public invitation to the countries in the region to violate Iraqi borders as well, which is a very dangerous escalation”, he stated.

Bomb blast leaves four civilians killed, injured in southern Baghdad

in MIDLE EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

A civilian was killed, while three others were wounded in a bomb blast in southern Baghdad, a security source said. “A bomb, placed near a market in Hor Rajab region, in Dora neighborhood, south of Baghdad, exploded on Friday, leaving a civilian killed and three others wounded”, the source told Alghad Press on Friday. “Police troops cordoned off the accident spot. Ambulances transferred the injured to hospital, while the victim was taken to forensic medicine department”, the source added. Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Suicide attack kills 7 north of Baghdad, UN says ISIS seeks Revenge

in MIDLE EAST/Senza categoria by

Suicide bombers have killed seven and wounded another 12 when they attacked a power plant in Samarra, north of the capital Baghdad on Saturday, officials say. An Iraqi security official said that there were three attackers, while a statement from the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity said there were four. The attackers, armed with grenades also died during clashes with the security forces. The attack happened at 2:00 a.m. local time. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but ISIS has carried out similar attacks in the past. Most Iraqi Shiite Muslims marked the first day of Eid al-Adha on Saturday, a day after the country’s Sunni Muslims. Baghdad was the worst affected governorate with 45 deaths and 135 injuries followed by Ninewa Governorate where Mosul and Tal Afar are located with 36 killed and 18 injured. The remaining casualty figures reported by the UN came from other areas of Iraq which were not named in the press release. Additionally, the numbers do not include figures from the Anbar province, where fighting still continues.

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