LOOKING BACK 15 - 21 November 2007

Niqash's weekly picks of news from Iraq


15 November 2007

A senior US military official says that Iran has stopped sending arms to its Iraqi allies and is complying with US requests, paving the way for renewed Iran-US talks over Iraq.

PM al-Maliki finishes the 2nd phase to nominate candidates for the empty minister slots and waits for the Accord Front to return its ministers to the cabinet before a 10-day ultimatum runs out.

A commission to coordinate the return of Iraqi refugees from abroad is established, which will create an atmosphere conducive to the returnees, including affordable housing, work, and an initial payment of 1 Mio Iraqi Dinar ($8,000).

Shaykh Abd al-Ghaffur al-Samarra'i, head of the Sunni Waqf, orders the closure of the office of the Association of Muslim Scholars in the Umm al-Qura mosque in Baghdad, because the AMS condoned al-Qaida operations.


17 November 2007

Poland announces it will withdraw its forces, 900 soldiers, from Iraq during 2008.


19 November 2007

Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the SIIC, returns to Iraq from medical treatment in Iran.

The next series of Iraqi passports, Series "G", will be tri-lingual - Arabic, English, and Kurdish. Iraq prints its passports in Germany.


20 November 2007

The Iraqi parliament changes its voting procedure. From now on, MPs will cast their votes in secret, via an electronic card, in order to make it easier for MPs to vote against their faction. Jordan announces it will grant 6-month visas for Iraqis who want to visit.


21 November 2007

PM al-Maliki blames (Sunni) VP al-Hashimi for the delay in ratifying legislation passed by the Iraqi parliament. Al-Maliki also declares that he has given up on persuading the ministers of al-Hashimi's Iraq Accord Front, who had resigned months ago, to return to the cabinet. VP al-Hashimi immediately rejects al-Maliki's accusations.


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