BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki discussed on Thursday with UN chief Ban Ki-moon ways of improving ties between Iraq and Kuwait.
Ban Ki-moon held talks in Baghdad on Thursday calling for Iraq and Kuwait to seize a “historic opportunity” to fully normalise ties two decades after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of the emirate.
“I believe that a historic opportunity is at hand to fully normalise relations between the two states,” Ban said at a joint news conference with a-Maliki.
“It is time for both countries to put the past behind and usher in a new era of cooperation,” said the secretary general, who also met with Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zebari.
Several outstanding issues between Iraq and Kuwait remain from now slain Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s August 1990 invasion of its neighbour to the south, including recognition of their border.
Baghdad pays five per cent of its oil and gas revenue into a special United Nations fund that pays compensation to Kuwait for its seven-month occupation of the emirate.
The UN chief, who flew in from a visit to Kuwait, said in the emirate on Wednesday that he is “committed to normalisation and to ensuring Iraq fulfills all of its outstanding international obligations” on Kuwait under UN resolutions.
Ban, who last visited Iraq in March for an Arab summit, said his talks in Baghdad also covered the current political impasse in Baghdad, tensions between it and the Kurdish regional government, as well as the conflict in Syria.