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Enhance Understanding

Some Good News for Stigmatized Iraqi Families

Last week, Wehda al-Jumaili, a member of the Human Rights Committee in the Iraqi parliament reported that Iraq is establishing courts to issue birth certificates and identification cards to Iraqi children who were born under ISIS rule. This remarkable and laudable decision, once implemented, will affect the lives of tens of thousands of children, about 45,000 of whom reside in camps for the displaced. Obtaining documentation will grant these children access to basic rights, including education, medical and welfare services. Documents will also significantly reduce or entirely lift the restrictions on their freedom of movement within Iraq. This important step

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ISHM 207: May 30 – June 6, 2019

Key Takeaways: KDP and PUK Exchange Recriminations; Ammar al-Hakim Threats to Oppose the Government; Iraq Continues Mediating Between Iran and Gulf States – On June 2, Iraqi President Barham Salih met with the German, French and UK ambassadors in Baghdad. On June 2, the KDP published the full text of the deal it signed with the PUK in March regarding government formation, in an implicit jab at the PUK for boycotting the May 28 vote to elect Nechirvan Barzani as KRG President. On June 2, Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi claimed in a speech that the Kurdistan Region had not turned over

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ISHM: May 23 – May 30, 2019

Key Takeaways: Iraqi Politicians Meet Foreign Counterparts; Nechirvan Barzani Elected President of the Kurdistan Region – On May 23, Iraqi President Barham Salih arrived in Jordan for a tripartite meeting including Jordanian King Abdullah II, Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. On May 25, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Baghdad and met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, President Barham Salih, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohammed al-Halbousi. On May 26, Zarif met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim. On May 27, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi arrived in Doha

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ISHM: May 16 – May 23, 2019

Key Takeaways: New U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Confirmed as Tensions between Iran and the U.S. Continue to Affect Iraq; Iraqi Officials Meet Foreign Counterparts – On May 16, Matthew Tueller assumed his position as the new United States ambassador to Iraq. On May 18, ExxonMobil evacuated its foreign workers from the West Qurna oil field due to reports about growing threats to Americans in Iraq due to tensions with Iran. On May 18, the Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised its citizens to leave Iraq and Iran immediately and cautioned against travel to these two nations. On May 20, Iraqi

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ISHM: May 10 – May 16, 2019

Key Takeaways: Escalating Tensions Between the U.S. and Iran Affect Presence of Foreigners in Iraq – On May 12, the United States Embassy in Baghdad released a statement advising “all U.S. citizens of the heightened tensions in Iraq” and telling them to “remain vigilant.” On May 14, during a briefing to the press, U.K. Major General Chris Ghika, the Deputy Commander of the anti-ISIS Operation Inherent Resolve stated that “there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” thus contradicting claims made by U.S. government officials. On May 16, in a move contradicting the earlier briefing, the

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ISHM: May 3 – May 9, 2019

Key Takeaways: Iraqi Leaders Meet Foreign Counterparts; Further Progress on KRG Formation – On May 3, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi met with French President Emmanuel Macron. On May 4, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi spoke on the phone with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss strengthening relations between Iraq and the United States. On May 5, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) agreed on a deal over the division of ministerial positions of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). On May 7, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)

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ISHM: April 5 – May 2

Key Takeaways: Iraqi Officials Meet Foreign Counterparts as Saudi Arabia and Iran Compete for Influence – On April 6, Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi arrived in Tehran. He met with the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who told Mahdi to “work to get American troops out of Iraq quickly.” On April 7, Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadhban met with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh. The two leaders reached an agreement pertaining to the development of two oil fields shared by both nations. On April 17, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi arrived in Saudi Arabia for a two-day visit and met with Saudi

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ISHM: March 29- April 4 2019

Key Takeaways: Iraqi Politicians Meet Foreign Counterparts; President Salih Weighs in On Presence of U.S. Force in Iraq; Agreement Reached on KRG Formation; Iran and Iraq Waive Visa Fees – Iraqi President Barham Salih stated in an interview on March 29 that there is a general consensus among major political parties that the country must continue collaborating with the foreign forces stationed in Iraq in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). On March 30, Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Berri arrived in Baghdad. Berri met several religious leaders and government officials and visited Shi’ite

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ISHM: March 22 – 28, 2019

Key Takeaways: Ninewa Governor Arrested for Corruption Following Ferry Sinking; Iraqi Officials Meet Foreign Counterparts; Iraqi Politicians Condemn U.S. Recognition of Golan Annexation – On March 22, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi met with Iraqi President Barham Salih, and the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Mohammed Halbusi to discuss the ferry accident near Mosul last Thursday. On March 26, a court in Ninewa province issued an arrest warrant for Akoub accusing him of corruption and other crimes. On March 27, the judicial police arrested Akoub. On March 23, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi traveled to Iraq, in his first foreign

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ISHM: March 15-21, 2019

Key Takeaways: Iraqi Officials Meet Foreign Counterparts; U.S. Military Presence in Iraq Continues to be Debated – On March 17, Chief of Staff of the Iraqi army Othman al-Ghanmi met Iranian Chief of Staff Mohammed Baqari and Syrian Minister of Defense and Deputy Commander-in-Chief Ali Abdullah Ayyoub in Damascus. On March 17, the Fatah and Sairoon Coalitions completed drafting two separate laws regarding the removal of foreign forces from Iraq. On March 18, Iraqi President Barham Salih met with United States Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) James Jeffrey. On

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ISHM: March 8 – 14, 2019

Key Takeaways: Iraqi Officials Meet Foreign Counterparts; Historic Iranian Visit to Iraq; Progress and Setbacks in KRG Formation – On March 10, a Lebanese delegation arrived in Iraq including the Minister of Communications Mohammad Choucair, the Ambassador to Iraq Ali Habhab, and 25 businessmen. On March 10, leaders of the Kurdistan parliament allotted the seats in the 15 permanent parliamentary committees to the various parties comprising the parliament. On March 11, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Baghdad for a three-day visit. This is his first visit to Iraq since taking office in 2013. On March 11, Deputy Prime Minister

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ISHM: February 28 – March 7, 2019

Key Takeaways: Iraqi Officials Meet Foreign Counterparts; KDP and PUK Reach Power-Sharing Deal; Kurdish Opposition Leader Arrested; Chairmanships of Parliamentary Committees Divided – On March 2, the Iraqi Speaker of the House Mohammed Halboussi arrived in Jordan for the summit of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union. On March 3, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Iraqi Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohammed Halboussi met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Baghdad. On March 3, Shaswar Abdulwahid, the leader of the Kurdish opposition party the New Generation Movement, was arrested after receiving an arrest warrant issued by a court in Sulaimania

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