Efforts underway to tackle Iraq's reconstruction issue

16:18, January 08, 2010      

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According to Arab media reports, bombs killed seven people, including an anti-terror chief, and wounded women and children from four families in the town of Hit in Iraq’s western province of Anbar on Thursday, and the anti-terror chief was the director of the anti-terror unit in the town. Despite a string of blasts and terrorists attacks having constrained post-war reconstruction in Iraq lately, reconstruction work is still prioritized on the agenda of the Iraqi government in the course of carrying out a gradual US troop pullout from the country.

On Wednesday, a military parade was held in Baghdad "Green Zone" of the unknown soldier monument to mark the 89th anniversary of the Iraqi Army Day. President Jalal Talabani and top military officers attended a ceremony and parade. In his speech delivered on the occasion, President Talabani stressed the need "to build a new Iraqi army with a defensive ideology", and the task of the military is "to protect the population and enforce security within its borders", "to defend the territorial integrity and state sovereignty" and to "fight terrorism". So it is the precondition to reshape Iraqi military for national security, social stability and peaceful environment in its post-war reconstruction, some analysts noted.

According to regulations, a parliamentary election is planned for early March 2010, which represents a major part of the post-war reconstruction and a great event in the Iraq's political life. Whether this incoming national general election proceeds smoothly will determine whether or not Iraqi's future would be heading for stability. To this end, Talabani asked the armed forces to prepare for "escorting" the election at the same time appealing for general public to unite together to greet the election.

Iraq is the third largest oil producer only after Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the oil sector has been in a dominant position. Accelerating the resumption of oil production and export is a major link of the post-war reconstruction. The cabinet has granted its formal approval of some oilfield exploitation contracts to companies from overseas. These deals ratified on Tuesday, January 5 were offered to seven foreign oil firms at an energy auction in early December 2009 during the second round of licensing.

Iraq's oil exports amounted to 1.97 million barrels a day in December 2009, an increase of 950,000 barrels over November, the preceding month, according to latest statistics from the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. And a significant change in the volume of exports fully reflects the rapidly-rising momentum from an aspect of current oil production in the country.

In line with requirements for its government to sign a contract with foreign energy firms, Iraq would increase its crude oil to 12 million barrels a day from the current 2.5 million barrels in the next six years; at the same time, its gas production would increase to 144 million cubic meters from the present 48 million cubic meters. Representatives of some OPEC member nations, however, regard that Iraq’s practice for a large-scale increase of oil production is inconsistent with the OPEC’s current strategy for "limited production and oil price protection", and this could cause volatility on the future global oil market.

Oil Minister Hussain Ibrahim al-Shahristani repeatedly underscored on different occasions that Iraq's crude production is now far from being restored to the pre-war level and so should be included in the scope of limited production. However, he also said that the Iraqi side would do its utmost to communicate and cooperate with other OPEC nations for maximally maintaining the oil revenues of OPEC at the same time to guarantee the smooth progressing of reconstruction process.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by PD reporter Huang Peizhao and resident reporter in Egypt Li Xiao
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