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A news article from the Kuwaiti News Agency on April 8 reports that Iraq and Kuwait had a good talk about the issues of disputed borders and maritime agreements. Agreement is said to be "within reach."
These are important issues to lay to rest in order for Iraq to be released fully from chapter VII U.N. Security Council sanctions. As you may know, Iraq was released from most of the sanctions last December, but there are still a few remaining issues to resolve before full sovereignty is restored to Iraq.
The other big issue appears to be the formation of a full government of Iraq. Their elections were held more than a year ago, and they still do not have a complete government. Last December they got all the gov ministers in place except the three really important ones. These include Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Security.
US Secretary of Defense Gates had a meeting with the Saudi king Wednesday, and from there he went to Baghdad. News reports tell us that on Thursday Gates called Prime Minister Maliki to the US Embassy, where Gates gave him the tongue lashing of his life for stalling on these very important issues.
Reports say that Maliki went to the embassy alone and emerged wiping the sweat off his face and looking pale. It was reported:
“Baghdad, INN- US Defense Secretary Robert Gates harshly reprimanded Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki for his inaction to settle critical issues, sources close Maliki told INN Thursday...”
“According to the sources, who asked not to be named, Gates, currently on a visit to Iraq, summoned Maliki for a private meeting at the US embassy in Baghdad on Thursday and Maliki left his office in a hurry without taking any one with him...”
“This was clear on Maliki’s face when came out of the meeting wiping sweat on his face with a handkerchief from his pocket, they added noting that Maliki did not say any word, he was just listening to Gates’s words.”
It appears that the US gov is thoroughly fed up with him for his stall tactics and might be threatening to back his rivals if he continues to act like Saddam.
Another piece of news is that Citibank has been working with Iraqi banks to upgrade their computer systems and ability to make wire transfers. Apparently, their computers were old, and the computer programs needed to be updated. These upgrades should be completed shortly.
International wire transfers were shut down in 1990 by the UN sanctions a few days after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The Iraqi dinar was de-listed from the IMF, and trade sanctions made it impossible to do any business using dinars. This is what crashed the value of the Iraqi dinar back then, and they are just now getting ready to go back online.
Of course, if you recall my earlier articles on the dinar six months ago, you know that my opinion is that Maliki represents the King of Babylon that is playing out in our time. He is a type of Belshazzar who was the Babylonian king that was overthrown by Darius the Mede in conjunction with his son-in-law, Cyrus the Persian, in 537 B.C.
Darius diverted the Euphrates and entered the city through the gates along the river bed, which were not being guarded, due to the party celebrations mentioned in Daniel 5. In my view, the diversion of the river (current) was prophetic of the revaluation of the currency. If this plays out like I think it will, then Maliki will be thrown out of office shortly after the currency is "diverted," i.e., revalued. It may also be that he will be assassinated, depending on how literal the fulfillment in Dan. 5 might be.
Certainly, Maliki is losing friends by his refusal to abide by his earlier commitments and by his stalling tactics. The drubbing he just took from Secretary Gates is a good example of that. And on top of that, it is reported that Vice President Biden called Maliki as well to encourage him to get the job done. We do not know the tone of that telephone call, but he probably did not call Maliki to give him any comfort.
The bottom line is that the recent demonstrations and unrest among the people is of great concern to the US government officials. They are, in turn, putting a lot of pressure on Maliki right now to end this long delay.
That is good news for everyone except Maliki.