Iraq and Kuwait Seek to Improve Relations

Iraq and Kuwait pledged on Wednesday to work toward resolving border disputes and debt issues as the two former enemies seek to repair relations damaged by Saddam Hussein's 1990.

Iraq's Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari (pictured), and the Kuwaiti ambassador made the remarks at a flag-raising ceremony at the new Kuwaiti Embassy in Baghdad — the latest in a series of gestures between the former enemies, reports Bloomberg.

"A strong political will is needed to solve these issues," Zebari told reporters. "We are confident and optimistic that all these topics can be resolved."

Asked whether a similar political will exists in Kuwait, Ambassador Ali Mohammed al-Moumin said: "In short, the answer is yes. But we need more meetings and discussions."

Neither Zebari nor al-Moumin would give a timeline or discuss the mechanisms for solving pending issues.

Iraq's mainly Sunni neighbors have sought since late 2007 to restore ties damaged by Saddam's rule and the 2003 U.S.-led invasion as the security situation in Iraq has improved.

Washington also has pressed for Arab countries to play a bigger political role in Iraq, partly to counter Iranian influence and to promote reconciliation between Iraq's minority Sunni community and majority Shiites.

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