Monday, 27 December 2010

Good luck both of you!

Iraq's oil policy will not be changed. That's the core of the message delivered Monday by the country's newly appointed Oil Minister, Abdul-Karim Elaibi, in his first official statement during a ceremony to formally put him in charge of the ministry after he was sworn in last Tuesday.

Elaibi, who served as deputy oil minister, also thanked his fellow Shiites, Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri Al-Maliki and current Deputy PM for Energy and former oil minister, Hussein Al-Shahristani, for picking him up for this job and their trust in him to "continue the march we started together as one team."

Number of flags picturing the Shiite most revered Imam Hussein were seen fluttering on the roof of the Ministry to mourn his death anniversary which was few days ago while the building's corridors and stairs decorated with black banners either picturing or praising the revered Imam, a scene that tells the rise of previously oppressed Shiites after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein Sunni regime.

Also during that ceremony, Al-Shahristani gave for the first time an indication about the powers that are given to him in his new post, a question which has been repeatedly asked by many people, but he also kept it somehow vague. He summarized his new role as to "follow up" with the Iraq's energy sector developments.

That could mean that Al-Maliki has bowed to one of the Kurds' main demands which is to push Al-Shahristani aside from deterring their oil ambitious by stripping him from powers. Realizing that not only the Kurds hate him, Al-Shahritsnai started his speech with this sentence:

"I didn't expect such a big gathering would be here today to celebrate getting rid of me from the Ministry of Oil," Al-Shahristani told the more than 300 ministry's employees who gathered at its Cinema hall with some of them didn't find seats to sit as he was laughing.

"Hahahaha..." the audience replied.

"You will not easily get rid of me," Al-Shahristani said at the end of his nearly 20-minute speech. "I will continue following up with what is going in the Oil Ministry from my new post...I will follow up with Iraq's energy program whether in the Oil Ministry or Electricity Ministry or Water Resources Ministry."

Good luck both of you!