Iraq lifts international flight ban to Kurdistan region

Aeroplane.jpgIraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has lifted an international flight ban to its Kurdistan region after Kurdish authorities agreed for the Erbil and Sulaimaniyah airports to come under federal control, reporting to Baghdad’s Ministry of Interior. The ban was imposed in September 2017 as part of a sanctions package in response to the region’s independence referendum.

Last month, the Iraqi Parliament voted to lift sanctions against 4 banks in the Kurdistan region on the basis that the measures “had fulfilled [their] objective” in enforcing federal control over the Kurdish banking system (see previous blog here).

Iraq lifts sanctions against 4 Kurdish banks

Iraq1.jpgEarlier this week, the Iraqi Parliament voted to lift sanctions against 4 banks in the Kurdistan region (Kurdistan International Bank (KIB), RT Bank, Cihan Bank, and Erbil Bank). Sanctions had been imposed in relation to the region’s September 2017 independence referendum, and consisted of restrictions (by the Central Bank of Iraq) on dollar and foreign currency transfers and sales to the Kurdish-owned banks. In approving the move, Iraqi politicians have stated that the sanctions “had fulfilled [their] objective” by enforcing federal control over the Kurdish banking system. It will now fall to the Iraqi Government to enact the decision.

Turkey to consider sanctions on Kurdish northern Iraq

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his country is considering imposing sanctions on Kurdish northern Iraq in response to the regional administration’s plans for an independence referendum. Although Turkey has a significant trading relationship with the region, it says that it is opposed to its independence on the basis that it may lead to new conflict in the Middle East. Turkey’s government is expected to make a formal response to the situation on Friday.

EU de-lists 2 entities from Iraq sanctions

baghdad-iraq-1The EU has de-listed Iraq-based entities Medical City Establishment and State Company for Drugs and Medical Appliances from its sanctions on Iraq.  The changes implement a UN decision to de-list them at the end of last year.

See Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/44 amending Council Regulation (EC) 1210/2003.

EU implements 19 UN de-listings from Iraq sanctions

The EU has de-listed 19 entities from its sanctions on Iraq, which freeze the assets of the previous Government of Iraq, and related people and entities, if those assets were located outside Iraq on 22 May 2003.  This implements a UN decision to de-list the entities from UN sanctions on 16 September 2016.  The UN and EU de-listed 5 other entities earlier this month (see previous blogs here and here).

See Commission Implementing Regulation 2016/1695 amending Council Regulation 1210/2003.

EU de-lists 1 entity from Iraq sanctions

The EU has de-listed South Refineries Company from its sanctions relating to Iraq, which freeze the assets of the previous Government of Iraq, and related people and entities, if those assets were located outside of Iraq on 22 May 2003.  The update implements a UN decision to de-list South Refineries Company from its own sanctions on 6 September.

See Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1642 amending Council Regulation (EC) 1210/2003.  HM Treasury’s notice is here.

EU de-lists 4 entities from Iraq sanctions

The EU has de-listed 4 entities that were subject to asset freezes under its sanctions on Iraq, implementing a UN decision to remove them from its own sanctions last month.  The remaining sanctions freeze the assets of the previous Government of Iraq, as well as related people and entities, if those assets were located outside of Iraq on 22 May 2003.  The de-listed entities are:

  • Iraqi Airways Company
  • Directorate-General of Governorate Electricity Distribution
  • Electronic Industrial Company
  • Light Industries Company

See Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1453 amending Council Regulation (EC) 1210/2003.  HM Treasury’s notice is here.