Iraqi lawmakers vote in new premier's remaining ministers

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi is pictured at the prime minister's office in Baghdad, Iraq June 4, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 06 June 2020

Iraqi lawmakers vote in new premier's remaining ministers

  • Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail was made oil minister
  • Nominees for the foreign, trade, culture, agriculture, justice and migration ministries were also approved on Saturday

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s parliament on Saturday approved the remainder of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s cabinet, making Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail oil minister and passing the candidates for six other government posts, lawmakers said.
Kadhimi became prime minister last month after five months of political deadlock after his predecessor Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned under pressure from mass anti-government protests.
Parliament had approved all but seven members of a cabinet of 22 portfolios. They passed the nominees for the oil, foreign, trade, culture, agriculture, justice and migration ministries on Saturday.
Ismail is the chief of Iraq’s Basra Oil Company, the state-run body that oversees oil production and exports operations in the OPEC member’s southern oilfields.
His appointment comes as Iraq participates in OPEC+ talks to decide on an extension to oil production cuts amid the COVID-19 pandemic and low global oil prices.
Kadhimi, Iraq’s former intelligence chief, is not backed by any particular party and seen as acceptable to both Iran and the United States, Iraq’s two main allies.
His cabinet nominations were approved after backroom deals among Iraqi political parties and leaders.
Kadhimi’s government faces a health crisis as coronavirus cases rise, an oil-dependent economy in dire straits, the attempted resurgence of Daesh militants and US-Iranian tension that brought the region to the brink of war earlier this year.


France's Macron warns Iran not to interfere in Lebanon

Updated 25 min 26 sec ago

France's Macron warns Iran not to interfere in Lebanon

  • Macron tells Rouhani to support a new government which can manage the emergency

PARIS:  French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday warned Iran against any interference in Lebanon after the gigantic blast last week that has prompted a political crisis in the country.
In telephone talks with President Hassan Rouhani, Macron emphasised the "necessity for all the powers concerned... to avoid any outside interference and to support the putting in place of a government which can manage the emergency," the Elysee said.

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Lebanon's government under Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned this week following days of demonstrations demanding accountability over the explosion at the Beirut port last week that devastated entire neighbourhoods of the city.
Iran wields huge influence in Lebanon through the Shiite group Hezbollah which was strongly represented in the outgoing government and has an alliance with the faction of President Michel Aoun.

 


The explosion, which left 171 people dead, has been blamed on a vast stock of ammonium nitrate allowed to rot for years at the port despite repeated warnings.
Macron, who was the first world leader to visit Beirut after the explosion, has taken the lead role in coordinating the international response and at the weekend chaired a virtual aid conference that drummed up more than 250 million euros ($295 million) in pledges.