Iraq president refuses to approve 2018 budget over ‘constitutional violations’

Iraq’s President Fuad Masum is refusing to approve the 2018 budget. (Reuters)
Updated 13 March 2018
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Iraq president refuses to approve 2018 budget over ‘constitutional violations’

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s President Fuad Masum is refusing to approve the 2018 budget because of “legal and constitutional violations,” said his legal adviser.
The long-delayed budget was passed by parliament on March 3, but Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the vote in protest over their region’s diminished allocation. Masum is a Kurd and holds a largely ceremonial role in the Iraqi state where most power lies with the prime minister who belongs to the Shi’ite Muslim majority.
“We are sending it (the budget) back to the parliament to amend the legal and constitutional violations we pointed out,” Amir Al-Kenany said.


UAE’s Gargash: Arab coalition’s full control of Hodeidah only a matter of time

Updated 9 min 51 sec ago
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UAE’s Gargash: Arab coalition’s full control of Hodeidah only a matter of time

DUBAI: UAE’s Minister of State and Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash Arab coalition’s full control of Hodeidah only a matter of time.

Gargash added that the Hodeidah port is a “major artery” for weapons smuggling from Iran to the Houthis.

“The liberation of Hodeidah is a major step in freeing Sanaa,” the UAE minister said, adding that “the roads leading to the port are filled with mines.”

France is said to be helping the Arab coalition in demining the roads.

“We have opened the road from Hodeidah to Sanaa to allow the militias to flee without resistance,” Gargash said.

The UN envoy for Yemen carried a plan to halt fighting around the key aid port of Hodeidah where Houthi militia have been battling a regional coalition as he arrived Saturday in the rebel-held capital Sanaa for emergency talks.

Martin Griffiths was expected to propose to militia leaders that they cede control of the Red Sea port to a UN-supervised committee and halt heavy clashes against advancing government troops backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

(With AFP)