The UN Security Council (UNSC) agreed unanimously on Thursday to lift sanctions imposed on Iraq two decades ago following its invasion of Kuwait under former dictator Saddam Hussein.
The 15 member states of the UNSC also agreed that the issue of missing Kuwaitis, Kuwaiti property and registers are to be dealt with according to Article Six of the UN Charter instead of Article Seven. All outstanding issues between countries will hence be resolved peacefully in accord with Article Six.
Observers regard the step as a kind of political support for Baghdad. Following the withdrawal of the American occupation which toppled Saddam Hussein's regime, Iraq is striving to regain its international relations and the status, which it lost after the invasion to Kuwait in 1990.
According to the UNSC resolution, Iraq has regained the international status it had before 1990.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari described the decision as a "landmark; a milestone in the history of the relationship between Iraq and the international community."
Zebari thanked Kuwait for its "support and assistance" and vowed to increase cooperation with the country. "All the negative aspects of relations between the two countries have become another page from the past and we shall focus on the present and the future," Zebari said.
Iraq was ordered by the UN to pay the Gulf country just over $52 billion in reparations. UN Compensation Fund said that $42.2 billion has been paid. Iraq still owes around $11 billion to Kuwait. The debt is expected to be fully paid off by 2015.