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Revitalizing Iraq's ports, airways in the shadow of IS

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Transport Minister Baqir Jabr al-Zubeidi elaborates on his ministry’s commitment to overcoming the budget deficit amid the country’s troubled security situation.
An Iraqi Airways plane lands at Baghdad International airport January 27, 2015. Airlines from at least three countries suspended flights to Baghdad on Tuesday after bullets hit an airplane operated by budget carrier Dubai Aviation Corp, known as flydubai, as it was landing at Baghdad airport. Company officials said Iraqi Airways and Iran's Caspian Airlines were operating flights to Baghdad on a normal schedule. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS TRANSPORT) - RTR4N5YY
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The war against terrorism and a decrease in oil prices resulted in Iraq running a deficit in its 2015 budget. This has been accompanied by tensions in Iraq and neighboring countries due to military operations against the Islamic State. The current environment has not, however, stopped the Ministry of Transport from moving forward on implementing planned projects.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Transport Minister Baqir Jabr al-Zubeidi (also known as Bayan Jabr Solagh) said that the best way to overcome Iraq's exceptional circumstances is to develop plans that are both realistic as well as sound. While conditions pose significant economic challenges and prohibit certain development projects, Zubeidi asserted that growth should not come to a halt, even amid the toughest challenges. Rather, exceptional conditions impose different approaches to planning and action. Zubeidi's ministry is continuing to complete major projects in the transportation sector, adopting special mechanisms and strategies to overcome the budget deficit and the unstable security situation.

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