Clare: Days after a banking procedure.. King Salman relieves the governor of the Saudi Central Bank
The Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz issued, on Thursday, a royal order relieving the governor of the Saudi Central Bank of his post and appointing a successor.
And the Saudi Press Agency, "SPA", published the royal order, in which it stated: "(...) Fahd bin Abdullah bin Abdul Latif Al-Mubarak, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank, is relieved of his post."
He added, "(...) Ayman bin Muhammad bin Saud al-Sayyari is appointed as governor of the Saudi Central Bank, with the rank of minister."
After he was relieved of his post, the dismissed governor of the Central Bank was appointed as an advisor at the Royal Court, with the rank of minister.
The Saudi Central Bank had decided a few days ago to raise the rate of the repo agreement by 25 basis points to 5.25 percent, and to raise the rate of the reverse repo agreement by 25 basis points to 4.75 percent. LINK
Clare: urgent... Lavrov will visit Baghdad next Sunday
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, will visit Baghdad early next week.
"Lavrov will visit Iraq on the fifth of this month," Ahmed al-Sahhaf, spokesman for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, said in a press statement.
He added, "The visit will be on February 5 and 6, and [Lavrov] will meet with Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, and they will discuss a sentence of a common nature, and they will discuss the security and stability of the region and Iraq's active role in that, and they will confirm the most important understandings of a vital and strategic nature between the two countries."
Lavrov's visit comes days after the visit of Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, who arrived in the capital, Baghdad. LINK
4CASH: Looks like Russia wants to dance with the prettiest lady in town IMO!!!!
Clare: Parliamentary Finance announces its readiness to receive the budget law
The Parliamentary Finance Committee announced today, Thursday, its readiness to receive the federal budget law for the year 2023.
A member of the committee, Jamal Cougar, told Al-Furat News that: "The committee is ready to receive the budget law and start working on it as soon as it reaches Parliament."
Cougar indicated, "There is still no talk or preliminary date for the government to send the budget law."
And Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani announced that his government is nearing the completion of preparing the draft budget law for the year 2023.
For its part, the Parliamentary Finance Committee called on the government to expedite sending the draft general federal budget law for the year 2023 after forming the government and electing the heads of parliamentary committees.
From: Raghad Dahham LINK
Zeeman: you might be ready to receive the budget but first it must be finished. this has been going on since the end of nov. how much more time do you need? imo
Paulette: Hopefully, enough time to "reinstitute" the NSCN's prior to the GOI passing it and sending it on to Parliament......Also, an agreement on the Oil and Gas Law, Article 140 implementation and Kurd budget appropriations would be nice....
Clare: Blaskhart: Iraq is one of the countries most contaminated with explosive ordnance, and mine clearance efforts are continuing
Briefing of the UN representative, Jeanine Plasschaert, before the UN Security Council on the situation in Iraq:
Any government needs political support to achieve the aspirations of the people
The government has taken many steps to combat corruption
The government is making more efforts to recover the smuggled money
We have identified remarkable progress in the work of the current government in the field of combating corruption
Real change requires economic and political reforms in Iraq
We look forward to speeding up the approval of the 2023 budget
Iraq should prioritize diversification of the economy
The Iraqi government confirmed its commitment to settling disputes with Erbil
Baghdad and Erbil continue their dialogues in order to reach a sustainable agreement
The Iraqi government continues its policy of openness and respect for the principles of sovereignty
Iraq is one of the countries most contaminated with explosive ordnance, and mine clearance efforts are continuing LINK
Henig: An Iraqi delegation to Washington: pledges to cut dollar smuggling routes
Arab reports Baghdad Hossam Muhammad Ali February 02, 2023
Well-informed sources in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, revealed, yesterday, Wednesday, information related to the mission of the Iraqi government delegation, which is preparing to go to Washington in the coming days, headed by Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein.
A spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Al-Sahaf, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the delegation will be headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein, with the membership of financial and banking officials.
Al-Sahhaf added, "The discussions will be based on the strategic framework agreement, and the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in various fields, especially with regard to the issue of the dollar exchange rate hike and the coordination and cooperation mechanisms in this aspect, and in a way that reflects the response of the Iraqi government in supporting its economic and financial vision, in order to achieve a response to the preservation of public money." It appoints citizens," and he continued, "The meetings and visits of diplomatic delegations between the two sides continue, because the relationship is strategic and calls for joint and permanent cooperation."
In parallel, an Iraqi government official revealed to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the delegation will include in its membership, in addition to its head, Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Finance Minister Taif Sami, Central Bank Governor Ali Al-Alaq, and other government officials, and the meetings will be held in the presence of officials.” Millions of senior Americans and the US ambassador to Iraq, Elena Romanowski.
The official, who asked not to be named, explained that "the delegation scheduled to visit (in principle) on the seventh of this month to Washington will carry assurances to the American side regarding the recent Iraqi measures in the currency auction, and its endeavor to prevent its arrival to countries covered by US sanctions, such as Iran and Syria." ".
The official continued: "There will be Iraqi pledges regarding this and an explanation of the recent procedures that Iraq followed with regard to smuggling hard currency, and the delegation will propose reducing the requirements imposed by the US Federal Bank on Iraq regarding the arrival of the dollar to Iraq, and demanding the implementation of the US federal conditions gradually and not all at once." With the aim of enabling the Iraqi banking system and banks to adapt to the new electronic platform for selling hard currency in Iraq, and also to assure merchants that the US measures are not intended to restrict or freeze the movement of their money.
Implement a set of financial reforms
He pointed out that "the government, represented by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank, has implemented a set of financial reforms, which confirm Baghdad's keenness to stop dollar smuggling operations. According to confirmed information, smuggling has decreased a lot, and has become in a very limited scope thanks to the sobriety of the government and the bank's procedures."
The source pointed out that "the delegation will reveal to the American side the results made by the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance in tracking down smuggling operations, which resulted in stopping many of them, as well as withholding dollar sales from those suspected of smuggling. All of these we believe will prompt the American side to show understanding flexibility, taking into account Iraq's economic situation allows for a near decline in the price of the dollar.
Evidence of Iran's access to the dollar
And he talked about "the Americans presented, earlier last month, evidence that Iran obtained large sums of dollars through Iraq in various ways, and that Iran uses what it gets from dollars in its nuclear program."
On the talk of Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al- Sudani that all possibilities exist regarding determining the exchange rate in the 2023 budget, and whether there is a tendency to make it below 1,400 dinars to the dollar, the official stressed that “the government and the central bank are awaiting the outcome of the upcoming negotiations in Washington, and the proposed price may be modified.” below the current price of 1,450 dinars. There are several options on the discussion table that are subject to developments in the situation.
Reducing dollar smuggling to Iran, Syria and Lebanon
For his part, a source in the Ministry of Finance confirmed to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the US restrictions imposed on the movement of the dollar contributed to reducing 70 percent of its smuggling operations to Iran, Syria and Lebanon, and 80 percent of Iraqi bank transfers were banned in the three months.” The past is the result of confirmed, or almost confirmed, suspicions that the final beneficiaries are linked to prohibited parties in the three countries.
He added, "US Ambassador Elena Romanowski informed the Iraqi Foreign Minister during their meeting, last Tuesday, that Washington insists on proceeding with the measures applied to prevent smuggling of dollars sold in Iraq , and that Baghdad should take stricter measures by banning its access to suspects of smuggling, especially since the banking and security agencies Al-Iraqiya identified those, according to what Iraqi officials told us.
And the source in the Ministry of Finance continued, "The Iraqi Foreign Minister informed the ambassador that the visiting delegation to Washington soon prepared a number of sober proposals, which would reassure the American side of the success of the Iraqi government's steps in consolidating the sale of the dollar and preventing its smuggling, and that it is proceeding with its procedures and will not back down from it." That "Iraq is facing US measures as a result of smuggling dollars to Iran, Syria and Lebanon to parties facing US sanctions, and through crooked ways," referring to the Lebanese "Hezbollah".
According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, last Tuesday, the minister's meeting with the US ambassador discussed the files of the upcoming visit, which will include a high-level Iraqi delegation of economic officials, the work program and the meetings that will discuss political and economic issues, and aspects related to the Iraqi and American currencies.
The Parliamentary Finance Committee believes that the visit should provide clear mechanisms to reassure the American side, to be followed by the implementation of a strategy that allows Iraq to control the oil sales funds deposited in the Federal Bank, so as not to be used as a pressure card.
Committee member Moein Al-Kazemi confirmed, in an interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that “there must be an understanding between Baghdad and Washington in the dollar file and through the highest official levels, to establish joint mechanisms related to the mechanism of money movement , which simplifies the procedures for obtaining it by merchants for import purposes.” Because the Federal Bank's actions restricted the movement of the dollar, and delayed money transfers from the Central Bank to banks abroad.
Persuading America of the Iraqi procedures
He added, "The visiting Iraqi delegation will be able to convince the American side of the Iraqi measures, in the event that it presents a practical mechanism and a solid strategy, which guarantees the sobriety of the process of selling the dollar in the currency auction at the Central Bank, through real financial invoices for importing materials and clarifying the origins of the import, and not being from countries that have a ban." From Washington, and this will leave no room for objection from the US Federal Bank, and we believe that it is possible to achieve this.
He pointed out, "If the American side insists on the restrictions, despite the Iraqi assurances, we advise that the government and the central bank go towards adopting the euro as a foreign currency, and we do not forget that the euro and the dollar are in solidarity regarding the restrictions imposed on certain countries to prevent foreign currency from reaching them, and for this we believe The realistic and optimal solution that achieves long-term stability is to adopt a strategy that encourages Iraqi industries and national products, and reduces the need for imports, and therefore the need for dollars will be less.
Freeing Iraq's funds from the control of the "federal"
He stressed that "this strategy must be accompanied by efforts to liberate Iraq's money from the control of the US Federal Bank, as it is not reasonable for us to continue depositing oil sales money with the US side, even though it is Iraq's money, and it must have sovereignty over it." Part of the Iraqi sums there is transferred to buy gold, and it is withdrawn in Iraqi dinars, which is in line with international financial standards.
On Tuesday evening, Al-Sudani said, in an interview with state television, that a government delegation will leave for Washington soon, stressing that his visit to Washington has not yet been set for a date.
This was confirmed by diplomatic sources in Baghdad, to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, by saying that the American side requested more time to study the files of Al-Sudani’s visit so that it would be fruitful and culminate in agreements that enhance bilateral cooperation in strategic files between Baghdad and Washington, adding that the upcoming visit of the Iraqi delegation may pave the way for agreements that allow Set the date of the visit.
And Al-Sudani acknowledged, in his appearance last Tuesday evening, the smuggling of US dollars from Iraq " through forged invoices , and the central bank and the previous government were supposed to implement an agreed-upon mechanism to control the movement of money called (compliance standards) for the global banking system."
And he indicated that "a memorandum signed by the Central Bank of Iraq (with the US Federal Reserve) two years ago to proceed with these procedures so that the central transfer system would be through an electronic platform and be audited, but the procedures were not at the required level in terms of qualifying banks for this system."
The electronic platform for selling dollars in Iraq, under the supervision of the Central Bank, allows the United States to monitor the amounts that come out of the Central Bank and the beneficiaries from banks, companies and businessmen.
Over the past years, an average of $170 million was sold daily through what is known as the dollar auction, in which merchants, banks, and companies participate, without monitoring the end of those funds, which are often classified as import trade for the local market, or foreign transfers.
Experts say that Iran, the Bashar al-Assad regime, and Lebanese parties obtain large quantities of them under the pretext of importing food and construction materials, without any of these materials arriving.
The use of the electronic platform led the same parties to go to the local market to obtain the dollar in any amount, which raised the value of the dollar as a result of the increased demand for it, despite the security forces carrying out a campaign of arrests against what they described as hard currency speculators. LINK