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Iraq and Kuwait form committee to resolve pending issues

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Ankara, Turkey on December 17, 2020 [Ali Balıkçı/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Ankara, Turkey on December 17, 2020 [Ali Balıkçı/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi yesterday announced an agreement to form a Supreme Political Committee with Kuwait that aims to negotiate and resolve outstanding issues between the two countries, Anadolu has reported. A statement to this effect was released by Al-Kadhimi's office following talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, in Kuwait.

"Al-Kadhimi and Al-Sabah chaired sessions between their respective delegations which discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the economy, health, trade, investment, energy, transport, and other fields," it was explained. "Al Kadhimi affirmed the Iraqi government's readiness to cooperate and work with the Kuwaiti government in a manner that embodies the historical relations between the two countries, in a spirit of mutual respect and the sincere desire to establish joint cooperation to strengthen and develop relations."

Although he didn't provide details, Al-Kadhimi told journalists that, "We stressed the importance of respecting international resolutions and working to overcome difficulties and remove fears, and we agreed on economic matters." There are no disputes between Kuwait and Iraq, he insisted. "I came to establish a relationship based on partnership, and we must learn from the past. Our common interests with Kuwait are great, but the bureaucracy in Baghdad might have delayed development and relations between the two countries."

READ: Kuwait receives archives from Iraq, 30 year after they were seized

Addressing business owners, Al-Kadhimi added that Iraq's doors are open with laws which encourage investment. He appeared to dismiss concerns about corruption in his country.

"I am optimistic about the future despite the pain and corruption," he pointed out. "We are working quietly as we head to the elections [in October] that will be worthy of all. We hope that everyone eligible to vote will do so."

Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. The Iraqi forces were driven out seven months later by an international coalition led by the United States during the Second Gulf War. Baghdad and Kuwait resumed diplomatic relations in 2003 following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. Nevertheless, a number of issues remain unresolved, including joint oil wells, the demarcation of land and sea borders, and the issue of prisoners and persons missing since the war.

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