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Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations steadily improving
June 27, 2017, 4:01 pm
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 Today (June 27th) marks the 13th anniversary of restoring normal diplomatic relations with neighboring Iraq, a neighbor with which Kuwait had experienced peak and ebbs in ties, disputes, war and peace. Cross-border routes through which Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait in 1990, are now used by Kuwaiti convoys in carrying humanitarian supplies to relocated Iraqis, mainly those settling in the north of the neighboring nation.

Moreover, these are the same roads via which Iraq had sent in igniters to set alight Kuwait's oil wells in the final days of the Iraqi occupation and witnessed dispatch of Kuwaiti firefighters who took part in dousing fires at oil fields in northern Mosul. Despite recurring strains in relations, sometimes turning icy and in others thawing, geo-social realities have always brought the two nations close, re-establishing the brotherly relationship, which are in words of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider Al-Abadi, are exemplary.

"Although the former regime had tried to make our relationship with Kuwait stained with blood, we have succeeded as two States to make this relationship as exemplary in the region," Al-Abadi said in remarks to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), commenting on the occasion.

Premier Al-Abadi expressed hope to tackle the remaining files, noting that Iraq paid US$ 47 billion dollars worth of war compensations to Kuwait in 2014 and only US$ 4.6 billion have not been paid, affirming Baghdad's commitment to pay the rest "in line with a UN resolution and because this is a matter of duty." He pledged to follow up and finalize the other files, namely the issues of the "disappeared Kuwaitis," noting that his government had supplied Kuwait with a lot of information in this respect.

The Iraqi prime minister called for further cooperation between the two neighboring countries to thrash out the remaining hanging issues, affirming his government's readiness to push forward the bilateral relations for serving the two peoples' interests.

The Iraqi Government encourages Kuwaiti investments in the country, said the premier who visited Kuwait on June 21, discussing means of promoting the bilateral relations with the Kuwaiti leaders.

Meanwhile, echoing identical thoughts on prospects of enhancing the Iraqi-Kuwaiti bonds, First Deputy of the Iraqi Parliament Speaker Hammam Hammoudi told KUNA that these relations have noticeably improved recently, praising efforts in this regard by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He also lauded His Highness the Amir's efforts in narrowing the gulf between the two countries, also praising Kuwaiti humanitarian assistance for the needy in the country.

For his part, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Iraq Salem Ghesab Al-Zamanan noted that Kuwait maintains an unwavering stance in support of Iraq's territorial sanctity, sovereignty and independence, expressing hope that efforts aimed at attaining national conciliation in Iraq would be successful.

Citing other events that depicted the improving ties, the ambassador noted His Highness the Amir's participation in the Baghdad-hosted Arab Summit as well as Kuwait's construction of 23 schools in several Iraqi provinces, in addition to a grant to build a hospital in Basra. Furthermore, Kuwait pledged US$ 200 million in aid for Iraq in 2015.

Elaborating, ambassador Al-Zamanan indicated the April meeting in Kuwait between Iraqi and Kuwaiti philanthropists aimed at discussing prospects of holding an international conference for rebuilding Iraq.

At the political level, the governments of the two brotherly countries have made headway in coordination, inking 53 treaties and memoranda of understanding. The Kuwaiti-Iraqi Ministerial Commission held six meetings over the past six years in Baghdad and Kuwait. Kuwait restored the diplomatic relations with Iraq on June 28, 2004. 

Source: KUNA

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