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 Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief

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Kurdistan Region-Iraq News in brief  24.6.2012   

June 24, 2012 -  Sulaimaniyah, Erbil-Hewler, Duhok, Kirkuk, Kurdistan Region 'Iraq'

Kurdistan parliament allocates 185bn IQD for political parties

Erbil: The Kurdistan Region's parliament decided in Saturday's session to allocate 185bn IQD ($159m) for political parties in the region. Article 17 of the draft budget law indicates the allocation of 200bn IQD ($172m) for NGO's and political parties in the region. At the session, suggestions were made such as allotting 185bn IQD for parties and 15bn IQD ($13m) for NGO's. This suggestion was later approved by MPs. The money will be paid as grants until the draft law has been ratified. One of the suggestions was to form a monetary fund for helping students go overseas to study masters and PhD courses, but the idea was rejected. MP Bashir Haddad said on Thursday that MPs had been debating the region's 2012 budget for nine days and will probably need 10 more days to finalize the process.

Iraq's parliament chooses Kurd for investigation and justice committee

Erbil: Iraq's parliament in its first session this season chose a Kurd to be a member of the investigation and justice committee. Kurdish Coalition Bloc MP Saed Rasul Khoshnaw from the Iraqi parliament said the parliament replaced Husam Abdul Latif Jasim with Kamaran Rasul Qadir. Khoshnaw added: "The parliament rejected the request of Iraqi asylum seekers who face deportation from European countries. These refugees earlier asked Iraq's parliament to intervene to halt the deportation process." Khoshnaw also said the parliament voted on three articles Saturday and discussions are still ongoing. He added that voting on modification of the public companies law number 22, 1997 was postponed, as was a draft law from the Ministry of Women and Families due to disagreement between blocs.

Fire at Dana Gas LPG plant in Iraq kills one

Dubai: One person died and four were injured in an explosion at the Khor Mor liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plant in the Kurdistan region of Iraq on Friday, plant operator Dana Gas said on Sunday. Dana Gas, which is based in the United Arab Emirates, blamed two LPG trucks belonging to a local LPG trader for the fire and accompanying explosion that killed a truck driver and caused extensive damage to the loading facility. It did not specify the damage. "As a precautionary measure, the plant has been temporarily shut down while a full investigation is conducted and repairs are carried out," Dana Gas said in a statement. "A partial production restarted yesterday Saturday from the Early Production Facility producing and supplying gas to the power stations." Dana Gas has been active in Kurdistan since April 2007 and the LPG production facility at Khor Mor was opened in early 2011. Reuters

PUK and KDP insist on withdrawing confidence from PM Maliki

Erbil: The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party confirmed Saturday that both parties are working to withdraw confidence from Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by democratic and constitutional means. The political bureaus of the two parties met in Pirmam on Saturday and later released a statement. The meeting was headed by the Kurdistan Region's President Massoud Barzani. The statement said both parties are set to make an effort within constitutional and democratic solutions to withdraw confidence from al-Maliki, noting that they respect the responsibility of Iraq's President Jalal Talabani and his constitutional duties. Both parties confirmed their obligation to the strategic agreement between them and to work towards unity and compatibility with parties that are participating in the region's political process. Two month ago, the Kurdistan Blocs Coalition, Iraqiya List and the Sadrist Movement started collecting signatures to withdraw confidence from al-Maliki. But the withdrawal process when the signatures were rejected by Talabani for not fulfilling the required quorum.

Rise in number of Syrian refugees in Turkey

Erbil: The number of Syrian refugees arriving in Turkish camps has reached 32,380, said the Turkish Disaster and Relief organization. Some 393 Syrian citizens crossed the Turkish boards over the last two days and 168 refugees returned to their country willingly, reported Anadolu News Agency. The relief organization confirmed in a statement that its teams have met all the needs of Syrian refugees who have fled to Turkey due to the ongoing violence in their home country.

Latest position of two Kurdish parties on Maliki doesnt include Talabani, says MP

Erbil: The latest position of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party in support of withdrawing confidence from Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki does not include President of Iraq Jalal Talabani, said a member of the Kurdistan Blocs Coalition. The political bureaus of the two parties met in Pirmam on Saturday and later released a statement saying that both parties are working to withdraw confidence from al-Maliki by democratic and constitutional means. Independent member in the Iraqi parliament Mahmoud Osman said: "The position of two parties is the same and won't change but Talabani's position is different because he is Iraq's president and protector of the country's constitution." When asked about the reason for not including Talabani - who is currently in Germany for medical treatment - Osman said "the president should be neutral".

Belgian parliament hosts article 140 conference

Stockholm: The Belgian parliament hosted a conference about article 140 of the Iraqi constitution related to Kirkuk and disputed areas in the presence of Yezidi Prince Tahsin Bek and number of political, media and parliamentary Belgian and Kurdish figures. Hissou Hawrami, one of the organizers of the conference and public relations official in the Kurdish Institute in Brussels, said the conference was held in cooperation with the parliament, the institute and the directorate general for Yezidis in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Hawrami added: "The aim of the conference was to inform the European politicians about the importance of the article and the effect of not implementing it on the Iraqi parties." Hawrami, who is also a journalist, considered the conference as "an important step to provide media and diplomatic support for article 140 and end many problems and reduce the suffering of the various Iraqi factions that live in the areas covered by the article". Among the most important issues that were discussed during the conference were Iraqi Christians under the article and the impact on their migration in the disputed areas and Yezidi areas, and Turkish intervention in the light of future ambitions. The vision of the federal government and neighboring countries with regard to the article was also discussed, as was how the Filaman movement can play a role in Iraq for the benefit of the Kurds. Hawrami stressed the importance of article 140, adding that "the Baghdad government is behind delaying its implementation".

Iraq's parliamentary committee to discuss Kurdistan's oil deals with Exxon Mobil

Erbil: Iraq's parliamentary economic committee will discuss Exxon Mobil's oil deals with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in its meeting on Sunday. Committee member Yousuf al-Taye said: "The committee will discuss Exxon deals in details in order to have a comprehensive perception of the subject and what surrounding it from clamor and arguments. "A number of committee members met Saturday and discussed Exxon deals and the committee is now waiting for official reports to study it in detail." Al-Taye added that studying the reports in detail will help the committee decide how such deals affect the future relationships between central government and the Kurdistan Region and the impact of this on the lives of the Iraqi people......

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