Kuwait and Iraq have renewed resolve to strengthen their ties and bolster their cooperation during the Kuwaiti-Iraqi joint committee meeting held in Baghdad and that was crowned by the signing of several agreements and Memoranda of Understandings (MoU).
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari and Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah represented their respective countries at the closing ceremony. Diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed during Saddam’s regime and were restored in 2008 after the arrival of a new government.
Al- Sabah told reporters at a press conference that the agreements and MoUs are mainly meant to promote “bilateral security cooperation.” He deplored what he described as “the extraordinary circumstances facing Iraq” stressing the need to take “the necessary measures to combat such brutal attacks.” Al-Sabah also reiterated Kuwait’s “ultimate support for Iraq’s efforts to build a safer and more stable present and a more prosperous tomorrow.” Kuwait will open consulates in Basra and Irbil very soon.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari hailed Kuwaiti support to boosting his country’s security capabilities. Iraq is fighting the Islamic State militant group that has declared part of Iraqi territory an Islamic State. Al-Jaafari thanked the Kuwaiti government for its flexibility and understanding after it decided to suspend, for a year, Iraq’s compensation payment of more than $6 million for damages caused during Saddam Hussein’s led invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990.
The joint commission established in 2011 has facilitated the resumption and reinforcement of cooperation between the two countries. Both countries are willing to cooperate in all fields especially in the maritime sector that was high on the committee’s agenda.
Trade between the two states is assessed at about $2,5billion in 2014.