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Daily Column
Iraq TV: Rocky Iraqi Gulf Diplomacy
Tuesday Night News
06/02/2009 2:00 PM ET
By Daniel W. Smith and Yousif al-Timimi

Soured relations with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are still topping the news. Several channels reported that some Kuwaiti lawmakers demanded to withdraw Kuwait 's ambassador from Iraq, protesting some of their Iraqi counterparts’ demands for compensation from Kuwait, because the country “allowed the US to invade Iraq without UN approval.” Vice President al-Hashimi (now with plenty of that time all his IIP comrades are talking so much about) met with the Kuwaiti ambassador to urge a quick resolution to the problems vexing relations with each other. On Al-Baghdadiya, MP Safia al-Suhail said, “Kuwait must know that Iraq's good intentions do not reflect weakness." American Ambassador Hill confirmed the readiness of the US to help in negotiations and work on getting Iraq out of Article Seven.

On Al-Iraqiya, Ayad al-Samarraie was also seen meeting with the ambassador to discuss things, but the more interesting thing on the state-run channel was a continuing of last weeks’ newly unabashed government critiques of Saudi Arabia. This one wasn’t really on too relevant a point, though, as it covered a British newspaper’s article about the Saudi royal family building “one of the biggest houses in London, which costs 81 million dollars.”

On corruption and the former Trade Minister, a judge in Samawa rejected a request to release al-Sudani, and specifically ordered him to be kept under arrest for another week, until the investigation is completed. Integrity Commission leader Sabah al-Saadi (see his Iraqslogger interview here) said, "The former minister is facing a seven-year sentence, if not more. The British embassy denied a report that it issued a statement demanding al-Sudani (who holds duel citizenship in both Iraq and England) be released.

On Al-Hurra Iraq, al Saadi said that 105 officials have been arrested on corruption charges in Baghdad alone. On the IIP’s Baghdad TV, MP Amal al-Qathi said that “140 signatures were collected to question the Oil Minister.” On the same channel, MP Hussin al-Faluji said "Iraq has achieved huge resources in the past few years, but all has gone to corruption for fake projects.”

Arrest warrants were issued to for 300 council members, on charges of presenting false certificates (diplomas, etc.), but they didn't specify who, or even if they won or lost in the election.

On Al-Rafadain, it was reported that “thirteen resistance groups elected Sheikh Harith al-Darri (Association of Muslim Scholars leader) to be their spokesman and negotiator in all respects.”

Al-Baghdadiya mourned and protested the killing of its own Alaa Abdel-Wahab, who was killed in Mosul on Sunday, after a sticky bomb attached to his car exploded.

A statement from the Pilgrimage Commission said that “We are exposed to a great deal of pressure from MPs and other high officials to have them and their relatives registered to go to Haaj.” On Al-Baghdadiya, Sadrists condemned “the entering of the holy shrine of Imam Askari in Samara by the American army.” Hmm. Someone’s not up on what the potential PR flashpoints are.

There was some buzz over the Iraqi government’s approval of a law which permits foreign investors to own land in Iraq.

A life sentence was given to a man named Ali Jassar for his passive involvement in kidnapping and killing foreign aid worker Margaret Hassan.

Some security stories on various channels.
A judge escaped a targeted IED attack in Baladruz.

American solder was killed by IED in Baghdad.

Odierno said that US troops “will leave all cities on the assigned date."

The “Mujahadin Army” attacked an American convoy with grenades in Hawija, outside of near Kirkuk.

Comments on the Iraqi TV roundup are welcome at


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