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Kuwait, Iraq agree to form joint ministerial committee

Arab World Materials 12 January 2011 21:56
Kuwait and Iraq agreed Wednesday to form a joint ministerial committee to discuss outstanding issues between the two countries following the first official visit by a Kuwaiti premier to Iraq since the first Gulf War, dpa reported.
Kuwait, Iraq agree to form joint ministerial committee

Kuwait and Iraq agreed Wednesday to form a joint ministerial committee to discuss outstanding issues between the two countries following the first official visit by a Kuwaiti premier to Iraq since the first Gulf War, dpa reported.

According to Kuwait's state news agency KUNA, Sheikh Nasser al-Sabah met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials in Baghdad.

Iraqi parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi told reporters after his meeting with al-Sabah that Iraq had expressed its desire to establish better relations with its smaller neighbour.

"We look forward to more partnerships and positive relations between the two brotherly countries," said al-Nujaifi.

He went on to describe the Kuwaiti official's visit to Baghdad as "a signal that a new era of positive relations has been developed."

Relationship between the neighbouring countries have been strained since Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, starting a conflict which ended only after the United States entered the war on behalf of Kuwait.

Al-Sabah's visit came two days after a Kuwaiti coast guard was killed in a shootout involving an Iraqi vessel, which Kuwait said took place after the vessel entered Kuwaiti waters and refused to stop.

Kuwait says it detained five Iraqi fishermen after the incident, but Iraq says there are still four fisherman missing and argues that the incident occurred in Iraqi waters.

Al-Sabah and al-Maliki were expected to discuss the incident, as well as the millions of dollars Iraq owes Kuwait in reparations from the invasion, Iraqi government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh said.

As of late Wednesday, neither side had come public with details of those talks.

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