Posted on 15 March 2012.
Iraq announced on Wednesday that it had finalised several agreements with Kuwait on long-running disputes, including the issue of of compensation to Kuwaiti Airways from Iraqi Airways.
Under the deal, Iraq will pay Kuwait $300 million in cash and will invest another $200 million in a joint Iraqi-Kuwaiti airline venture, to settle a claim by state-owned Kuwait Airways that Iraq owes it $1.2 billion for planes and parts stolen after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
The airline dispute had led to several seizures by Kuwaiti authorities of overseas Iraqi assets.
“We have achieved a breakthrough in the relationship,” said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.
The two countries also reached an agreement on a border dispute, in line with a U.N. Security Council resolution. The move reportedly brings Iraq closer to release from restrictions imposed on it by the United Nations when the Persian Gulf War ended after a U.S.-led intervention in 1991.
Other disputes, including over the proposed construction of a vast port in Kuwait that Iraq fears would threaten traffic to its port in Basra, remain unresolved.
The agreements mark the latest in a series of friendly moves toward countries in the region ahead of the Arab League summit in Baghdad, which is set to begin on 27th March, and which the Emir of Kuwait, Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, will attend.
(Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters, Washington Post)
Dr. Mark A. DeWeaver
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