Iraqis cheer thaw in relation with Kuwait on 23rd anniversary of occupation

Iraqis cheer thaw in relation with Kuwait on 23rd anniversary of occupation


BAGHDAD, (KUNA) — After 23 years of Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, the subsequent Kuwait liberation war and years of post-war tension, relations between the two Arab neighbors are witnessing remarkable improvement.

For the first time since the occupation and after settling almost all outstanding issues, the Iraqis observe the 23rd anniversary of the disastrous war without the sanctions as per the UN Security Council resolutions based on Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

“The anniversary falls this year after the two countries have closed a lot of outstanding files due to their governments’ determination to restore good neighborly relations that were gravely damaged by the actions of Saddam Hussein’s regime,” Spokesman of the Iraqi Prime Minister Ali Al-Moussawi told KUNA on the occasion.

Al-Moussawi cited His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah’s recent visit to Iraq and the cooperation agreements signed during the visit as example of the remarkable progress the relations. “The Iraqi-Kuwaiti relations are excellent and a clear example of the ability of countries to overcome disputes if genuine will existed on both sides,” he said.

Kuwait and Iraq signed June 12, six agreements and memorandums of understanding following official talks between HH Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber and his Iraqi counterpart Nouri Al-Maliki.

The agreements cover a wide array of domains, including education, scientific research, aviation, economy, culture, transport and environment.

For his part, Iraqi Vice-President Khodair Al-Khuzai echoed a similar view.

“Relations between the two countries are developing and bilateral cooperation are expanding to cover all domains,” he told KUNA.

Al-Khuzai admitted that the tension was running high between the two Arab nations during the era of Saddam Hussein.

“But since the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the new Iraqi regime sought better relations Kuwait and had taken several steps towards confidence-building.” “However, the most remarkable development of relations took place this year, when Kuwaiti government played an important role in ending Iraq Chapter VII status.” On June 27, The UN Security Council on voted unanimously to get Iraq partially out of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, transfer the files of the missing Kuwaitis and property under the responsibility of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and put an end to the 1999 post of the High-Level Coordinator for those files.

The Council transferred those two humanitarian issues, under Chapter VI, to UNAMI’s attention, taking into consideration the Kuwaiti conditions aimed at having the files constantly under Council review.

Meanwhile, Basra Provincial Council Member Ahmed Al-Sulaiti expressed hopes “Iraq and Kuwait would manage to reach final settlement to all pending issues” He also applauded the positive stances of both governments which show the reality of the new relationship between the two countries. MP and a member of Iraqi parliament’s Security and Defense Committee Hakim Al-Zamili told KUNA that “Iraq’s removal from Chapter VII is a good step towards complete restoration of its status and role in the region.” He went on to say that “Iraq only needs to pay the remaining part of the agreed upon compensations to Kuwait to close this chapter of its history and resolve the problems caused by the wrong policies of Saddam Hussein.” He described the Iraq’s relations with Kuwait as historical and deep-rooted. Zamili underlined the importance of dialogue and negotiations between the two neighbors to iron out differences.

Ali Al-Shallah, senior leader of the ruling State of Law Coalition, told KUNA that “after Iraq’s exist from Chapter VII, relations with Kuwait had come back on the right track.” “The Iraqi-Kuwaiti relations are now better than before particularly after the recent reciprocal visits of the top officials for both nations.”