Iraq's Central Bank, US Federal Bank Address Electronic Platform Challenges

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani chairs an economy in Baghdad (INA)
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani chairs an economy in Baghdad (INA)
TT

Iraq's Central Bank, US Federal Bank Address Electronic Platform Challenges

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani chairs an economy in Baghdad (INA)
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani chairs an economy in Baghdad (INA)

Officials from the Central Bank of Iraq, the US Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury have met in wake of the drop in the Iraqi dinar's value against the US dollar, creating severe fluctuations in the prices of most commodities and foodstuffs.

Economic sources said Washington gave Iraq an additional three months, provided that it adheres to the standards for moving funds and preventing smuggling.

A Central Bank of Iraq delegation met for several hours with the US Federal Reserve and US Treasury delegations in Washington.

The Iraqi Central Bank said in a statement that the two sides expressed their willingness to work jointly to face the challenges of working with the electronic platform for transfers and cash, which allows the US federal bank to monitor foreign transfers from Iraq to other countries.

The statement cited the measures recently imposed by the Treasury Department on Iraq's central bank to adopt an electronic platform for money transfers.

It added that the US delegation discussed several support and attribution mechanisms for the Central Bank of Iraq in a way that boosts its capabilities to deal flexibly with crises during this stage.

Iraqi Central Bank Governor Ali Mohsen al-Alaq confirmed the bank's intention to launch the second package of facilities to support the stability of the exchange rate.

The Fed said the Iraqi central bank's measures are "in the right direction for building a sober banking sector," according to the statement.

It added that a Treasury official set forth ways to "fully support" Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani's government on economic reform and expressed the department's readiness to provide the required support.

Despite the Central Bank's decision to adjust the exchange rate to 1,300 dinars to the dollar from 1,470 dinars, confusion still prevails in the Iraqi markets. The exchange rates remain high despite the relative stability in the local stock exchange.



UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
TT

UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)

Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are suffering a drastically worsening human rights environment, alongside "unconscionable death and suffering" in the Gaza Strip, the UN human rights chief said on Tuesday.

"The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is dramatically deteriorating," Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The West Bank, where the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule under Israeli occupation, has seen the worst unrest for decades, in parallel with the war in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.

Turk said that from the start of the Gaza war in October through mid-June, 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, had been killed by Israeli security forces or settlers in the West Bank, in some cases raising "serious concerns of unlawful killings".

Twenty-three Israelis have been killed in the West Bank and Israel in clashes with or attacks by Palestinians, he said.

In Gaza, Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties to the war.

"Israel's relentless strikes in Gaza are causing immense suffering and widespread destruction, and the arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Turk said.

"Israel continues to detain arbitrarily thousands of Palestinians. This must not continue."

He added that Palestinian armed groups were continuing to hold hostages, including in populated areas, which put both the hostages and civilians at risk.

Israel's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva accused Turk of "completely omitting the cruelty and barbarity of terrorism" in his address to the UN Human Rights Council.

"Hostilities in Gaza are the direct result of Hamas terrorism, decades of rocket-fire and incitement against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, culminating in its brutal attacks against Israel on October 7," the diplomatic mission said in a statement.

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led fighters stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 37,400 people in Gaza, according to its health authorities, and left much of the enclave's population homeless.