Saturday, June 16, 2018


US: Iraq will be a center of stability and prosperity of the region 

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield said on Thursday that Iraq would be the basis for stability and prosperity in the Middle East.

 Iraq has the ability to be a center of stability and prosperity in the Middle East and we are optimistic about the future of the country,” Suterveld told the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee. “US President Donald Trump has asked for 200 million dollars in aid to Iraq,” he said, stressing that “the United States should not take full responsibility for financing stabilization efforts in the region.” 

“Washington is happy to partner with the new Iraqi government to fight terrorism and strengthen the independence of the country,” said Nicky Halley, a US envoy to the United Nations

Vietnam’s State Treasury raises over VNĐ65.8 trillion from G-bonds 15th June, 2018 HÀ NỘI — The State Treasury of Việt Nam has mobilised over VNĐ65.8 trillion (US$2.89 billion) via Government bond (G-bond) auctions at the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX) since the beginning of 2018. 

From mid-April till date, the interest rates of different terms of G-bonds have continued to increase. Most recently, an auction at HNX on Tuesday raised VNĐ4.2 trillion worth of G-bonds. As much as VNĐ2.1 trillion were mobilised from 10-year bonds with an annual interest rate of 4.32 per cent, up by 0.02 per cent against the previous auction on June 6. Bonds with 15-year and 20-year maturity terms raised VNĐ1.6 trillion and VNĐ500 billion, with annual interest rates of 4.65 per cent and 5.18 per cent, respectively, both up by 0.02 per cent from the previous auction on June 6. 

The National Financial Supervisory Commission has predicted that the G-bond market in 2018 will see modest changes against last year, thanks to an economic growth of more than 6.7 per cent and inflation of below four per cent. The value of G-bonds issued in 2018 is estimated at some VNĐ180 trillion, with the focus being on long-term maturity and keeping the interest rate at low levels. G-bonds worth VNĐ159.9 trillion with an average maturity of 13.52 years, up by 4.81 years against 2016, were issued last year. 

The bonds had an average annual interest rate of some 6.07 per cent, down by 0.2 percentage points against 2016, according to the Ministry of Finance. LINK Samson: Việt Nam regards Luxembourg important partner: PM
Iraq’s former PM Nouri Al Maliki ‘not welcome’ in new government Iraqi Vice President and former Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station during the parliamentary election in Baghdad, Iraq May 12, 2018. Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters There is no place for former Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki in the coalition to form Iraq’s next government, a spokesman for the recent election’s largest political bloc has said. 

“Nouri Al Maliki is not welcome to join the coalition,” Dhiaa Al Assadi, a close aide to Shiite Cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, told The National. Last month’s parliamentary elections saw electoral lists led by nationalist Mr Al Sadr and Iranian-backed militia chief Hadi Al Amiri win the largest number of seats. The two leaders announced their intention to form an alliance of their political blocs on Wednesday. They called on other political groups to join them in a coalition. Notably absent from that invitation was Mr Al Maliki. 

It appears a decisive set back for Mr Al Maliki, who in the past managed to cling to power despite rising unpopularity. Mr Al Maliki took power in 2006 with the blessing of both the United States and Iran. But he rapidly alienated the country’s Sunni and Kurdish minorities by shutting them out of key security positions and undermining power-sharing agreements. During the 2010 elections, a secular bloc headed by vice president Ayad Allawi won the most seats in parliament. 

But Tehran backed Mr Al Maliki to remain in power, who was able to form a “national unity” government with the help of Mr Al Sadr. Mr Al Maliki was finally forced to step down in 2014 following the collapse of a third of Iraq’s military and police units in the face of an ISIS offensive which overran a third of the country.

 He immediately assumed the largely ceremonial role for vice president. He was replaced as premier by fellow Dawa Party member Haider Al Abadi. As general secretary of the Dawa party, Mr Maliki has retained political influence, though his State of Law coalition performed bellow expectations in the recent elections, winning just 26 seats.

 The blocs controlled by Mr Al Sadr and Mr Amiri control 101 seats, short of the 165 required to form a majority. Mr Al Sadr’s Sairoun alliance, which also includes the Communist Party and secular candidates, won 54 seats, while Mr Amiri’s Fatah coalition of Shiite paramilitaries won 47 seats. Incumbent Prime Minister Abadi’s Victory alliance took 42 seats. “His Eminence [Mr Al Sadr] has always welcomed Dr Al Abadi to join his coalition,” Mr Al Assadi said. 

The Shiite cleric has previously vowed that he would not allow Mr Maliki another term as prime minister. Even his former backers in Tehran may have given up on him. “Nouri Al Maliki was Iran’s best person but they accept that he’s not part of the next government because of the instability caused” during his time in power, Renad Mansour, senior research fellow at London’s Chatham House, told The National. “Al Sadr’s stance has been to side-line Nouri Al Maliki,” he added.

 Mr Al Sadr’s strong election performance marked the culmination of years of speaking out against corruption and government mismanagement. He first built his name outside of mainstream politics, as the head of the Mehdi Army militia which fought against the US occupation using sophisticated bombs likely supplied by the Iranians. 

But he has remained a staunch nationalist, critical of Iranian interference in Iraq. For his proposed coalition to succeed, Mr Al Sadr will need to overcome grievances from members of his own bloc who insist Tehran should not be permitted to interfere in Iraq’s affairs. Iran backs Mr Al Amiri, a militia leader who spent two decades fighting former dictator Saddam Hussein from Iran. He is also close to General Qassem Soleimani, commander of foreign operations for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards who has great influence in Iraq.

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