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Iraq signs USD270 mn loan from Japan

in Middle East by

The loan is designed to improve Iraq’s financial situation and to help the country proceed with reforms, the statement by the embassy said, noting that it comes as a second tranche of a USD500 million Japanese financial assistance commitment.

The statement said falling world oil prices and spending on defense and refugee relief portfolios had largely reduced the country’s budget resources. It also pointed to earlier assessments by the International Monetary Fund which estimated Iraq’s budget deficit for 2016 by 14.1% and public debt for the same year by 6.99% of the GDP.

In February, Japan approved a loan of about $100 million to support humanitarian, counter-terrorism and infrastructure projects in Iraq.

In January, Japan agreed to lend Iraq up to 27.2 billion yen ($240 million) to rebuild damaged electricity infrastructures in areas recaptured from Islamic State militants.

Iraq’s war against Islamic State militants since 2014, the need to address the dilemma of nearly three million people displaced by the war and falling world petroleum prices have all worsened Iraq’s economic situation, prompting the government to turn to world donors.

Japanese Warship deployed amid rising North Korea tensions

in World by

According to reports, Japan has dispatched its biggest warship since World War II to guard and escort a U.S. supply vessel. The mission, which comes amid rising tensions over North Korea, is performed under Japan’s expanded security law that came into force March last year. Under this law, Japan has the right to aid an alley under attack and expand its SDF activities overseas.

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North Korea ‘can sink US aircraft carrier in one strike’

in World by

North Korea says it has the military power to sink an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that is approaching waters off the Korean Peninsula in “one strike.”

The US has deployed a strike group, including the large USS Carl Vinson carrier, to the Korean Peninsula in what is intended to be a show of force amid North Korea’s advancing missile and military nuclear programs.

The US carrier will reach the peninsula by the end of April, according to US defense officials.
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