Iraqi pres­i­dent be­gins of­fi­cial visit to Kuwait to­day as part of Gulf tour

Top pri­or­ity is fate of miss­ing cit­i­zens in Iraq: Diplo­mat

Kuwait Times - - Local -

KUWAIT: Pres­i­dent of Iraq Barham Saleh, ac­com­pa­nied by an of­fi­cial en­tourage, is due to be­gin an of­fi­cial visit to Kuwait to­day for hold­ing of­fi­cial talks with His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. This was an­nounced by an Amiri Di­wan state­ment yes­ter­day. Ear­lier in Bagh­dad, Iraqi Pres­i­dency said in a state­ment that the pres­i­dent would be­gin a Gulf tour start­ing in Kuwait to dis­cuss with lead­ers of the re­gional coun­tries how to build “best re­la­tions” with Bagh­dad. The of­fi­cial Iraqi state­ment said that the pres­i­dent, dur­ing his talks with the Kuwaiti lead­ers, would dis­cuss ways of boost­ing the bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, not­ing that his re­gional whirl­wind will in­clude the UAE. This re­gional mis­sion is part of Iraq’s ef­forts to build the best form of ties with the Gulf and Arab states, it said, in ad­di­tion to set­ting up bases for good neigh­bor­li­ness, ex­am­in­ing “eco­nomic and de­vel­op­ment in­te­gra­tion.”

Miss­ing cit­i­zens Mean­while, a Kuwaiti se­nior diplo­mat un­der­lined that un­veil­ing fate of 369 Kuwaiti peo­ple miss­ing in Iraq is on top of the For­eign Min­istry’s pri­or­i­ties. Nasser AlHayyen, As­sis­tant For­eign Min­is­ter for In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tions, made his re­marks ahead of re­ceiv­ing part of Kuwait prop­er­ties and na­tional ar­chive from Iraq, sched­uled to­mor­row. He said the for­eign min­istry has been press­ing Iraqi au­thor­i­ties to in­ten­sify ef­forts to de­ter­mine fate of miss­ing Kuwaitis. Iraq in­vaded Kuwait in 1990 and oc­cu­pied the Gulf coun­try for seven months be­fore be­ing ejected by an in­ter­na­tional coali­tion. Dur­ing the oc­cu­pa­tion, Iraqi forces killed many Kuwaiti peo­ple and ar­rested hun­dreds oth­ers, as well as steal­ing pub­lic and pri­vate prop­er­ties.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and For­eign Min­is­ter Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and his Deputy Khaled Al-Jar­al­lah al­ways call upon Iraqi of­fi­cials they meet to dou­ble ef­forts re­gard­ing the is­sue of miss­ing Kuwaiti per­sons, said Hayyen. He added Iraq would hand over to­mor­row books, films, a paint­ing and a sword. The Iraqi au­thor­i­ties had handed over in the past some prop­er­ties found in Iraq, said Hayyen who com­mended the au­thor­i­ties in Bagh­dad for their co­op­er­a­tion.

The Iraqi gov­ern­ment said Tues­day it would hand state TV and ra­dio ar­chives back to Kuwait, in line with rel­e­vant Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions. Iraqi For­eign Min­istry Un­der­sec­re­tary Hazem AlYousefi in­formed Kuwait’s Am­bas­sador in Bagh­dad, Salem Al-Za­manan, of the trans­fer, read a min­istry state­ment. Bagh­dad took the move in the wake of its com­mit­ment to en­hanc­ing bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, mainly in po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic do­mains, and to re­solve all un­re­solved predica­ments, the ar­chive mat­ter in­cluded. It comes “af­ter ef­forts were ex­erted to search for and gather the Kuwaiti ar­chives, in ac­cor­dance with Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion 2107,” or­dered by Iraqi For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad AlHakim, added the of­fi­cial. United Na­tions rep­re­sen­ta­tives will be in at­ten­dance dur­ing the hand over, he said.

Com­pen­sa­tions

The United Na­tions Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mis­sion (UNCC) Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil had stated on Thurs­day that Iraq would pay, ef­fec­tive early next year, 1.5 per­cent worth of oil sales’ pro­ceeds to the UNCC com­pen­sa­tions fund. The coun­cil said in a state­ment said this move would be in line with its res­o­lu­tion 276/2017 with re­spect of in­stall­ments’ pay­ment in 2018. Kuwait, dur­ing in­au­gu­ra­tion of the cur­rent coun­cil ses­sion, ex­pressed ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the com­mis­sion sec­re­tar­iat and its role in dis­tribut­ing repa­tri­a­tion in­stall­ments.

Chair­man of Kuwait’s Pub­lic Author­ity for As­sess­ment of Com­pen­sa­tion Re­sult­ing From Iraqi Ag­gres­sion Khaled Al-Mud­haf stated that Kuwait re­ceived, ear­lier this year, three com­pen­sa­tion in­stall­ments, each val­ued at $90 mil­lion. The re­main­ing sum that should be paid to Kuwait is ap­prox­i­mately $4.4 bil­lion. The UNCC was formed in 1991 as a United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil body, with the aim of pro­cess­ing claims and pay­ing com­pen­sa­tion for losses and dam­age Kuwait suf­fered af­ter it was in­vaded by its larger neigh­bor. — KUNA

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