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Cablegate: Iraqi Kurdistan Region Media Summary --

VZCZCXRO4591
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0896 0730552
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140552Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0181
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000896

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

UNCLASSIFIED

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR KPAO PGOV ECON PINS IZ IR TU US

SUBJECT: Iraqi Kurdistan Region Media Summary --
March 11, 2007

1. (U) This is a Regional Reconstruction Team (RRT) cable.

KRG Publishes Draft Federal Oil and Gas Law in English and Arabic
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. (U) The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) spokesman published
an authorized English translation of the draft Federal Oil and Gas
Law of Iraq today. The original Arabic draft, also published by the
KRG today, was approved by the Oil and Energy Committee of the Iraq
Council of Ministers. The English translation published today was
prepared and authorized by the KRG. "These are the drafts which are
recognized by the KRG," said KRG Natural Resources Minister Dr.
Ashti Hawrami in a statement. "Old and inaccurate translations of
this vital draft law have been circulating in the media in recent
weeks. By publishing the original Arabic and the authoritative
English translation together, we hope to make the picture clearer
for potential investors in Iraq." Dr. Hawrami represents the KRG on
the Oil and Energy Committee.

Female Parliamentarians Propose Changes to KRG Personal Status Law
--------------------------------------------- ----

3. (U) Newspapers reported that Women's Rights Protection
Committee of the Kurdistan National Assembly is preparing to submit
a proposed Bill of Rights that would make a number of changes to the
KRG personal status code aimed at increased gender equality in the
Kurdistan Region. According to the committee, the proposed
amendments are based on international agreements and Kurdish
community standards and will maintain compliance with Islamic law.

Byblos Bank plans Iraq expansion from Kurdish North
--------------------------------------------- ----

4. (U) Major newspapers wrote that Byblos Bank, Lebanon's
third-largest lender, will open a branch in Iraq next month using
the safety of the Kurdish north as a platform for expansion into a
country that holds 10% of the world's oil reserves. "Iraq is very
important, there is huge potential there," said Chairman Francois
Bassil in an interview from his office in Beirut on March 6. Byblos
will open its branch in Erbil because the city is more secure than
other parts of the country, he said.

Shahid Khalid Hospital Opens in Koya
-------------------------------------

5. (U) Newspapers reported on the opening of the Shahid Khalid
hospital in Koya. After 4 years of renovation the hospital now has
8 labs, 2 large operation rooms, and an intensive care unit. The
hospital was opened in a ceremony led by the KRG Minister of Health
who said that his ministry will try to send some of the hospital's
doctors and staff abroad for training.

Commentaries:
-------------

6. (U) A. M. Pers writes in a column in the KDP's Khabat Newspaper
that although he is optimistic Kirkuk will come back to the
Kurdistan region, he is disappointed the KRG is not doing more to
ensure the result. He says that Kurds are asking for their rights
bashfully and ends his column by asking the question, "Has the
Kurdish spell been dissolved after the death of Mustafa Barzani?"

7. (U) In an article in the PUK-run Kurdistani Nwe, Rezhein Kurd
writes about the use of headscarves by women in Kurdish society.
Rezhein thinks religion should not be the motivator for wearing
headscarves, but rather represents a cultural phenomenon.

8. (U) This media summary is prepared by Public Diplomacy
Assistant Hama Othman.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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