Baghdad and Kuwait, Asharq Al-Awsat–Iraq and Kuwait signed a number of agreements during the visit paid by Kuwaiti prime minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to Baghdad. The two countries also agreed to request that Iraq be released from its UN Chapter VII obligations.
The Kuwaiti prime minister arrived in the Iraqi capital on Wednesday, accompanied by a high-level delegation to discuss bilateral relations.
Ali Al-Mousawi, adviser to Iraqi prime minister Nuri Al-Maliki, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “this visit is different from previous visits by Kuwaiti officials to Iraq because it turns over a new leaf.”
“Previous talks between Iraqi and Kuwaiti officials focused on the past and the Chapter VII requirements. Now we have moved to a new phase: the future relations between the two countries,” he added.
Mousawi revealed that “a number of agreements were signed in the fields of economy, science, culture and the environment.”
On the agreement to release Iraq from Chapter VII, Mousawi said: “Iraq and Kuwait have sent a message to the UN Security Council informing it that all differences related the issue have been resolved, and that the issue of the missing [persons] has become secondary, and therefore, it has been moved to Chapter VI.”
He added that the “UN Security Council will meet on June 14 to discuss this issue.”
In a joint news conference with Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, Kuwaiti foreign minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said: “Our talks with Iraq have been successful, and we have made advances on issues relating to Iraq and Kuwait’s obligations.”
“Kuwait will inform the Security Council of what has been achieved to move Iraq’s status from Chapter VII to Chapter VI of the UN Charter,” he added.
The Kuwaiti foreign minister also emphasized that “we in Kuwait are very pleased that Iraq has been released from Chapter VII obligations to return to its role as a major player in the development of the region.”
For his part, Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari said: “The most important achievement in the discussions was the agreement for the two countries’ permanent representatives to the UN to deliver a message to the UN secretary general saying Iraq has fulfilled its obligations towards Kuwait. The fact that both representatives deliver the message jointly will be symbolic to the fact that Iraq has fulfilled all obligations stipulated in UN resolutions.”
Iraq has been subject to Chapter VII of the Charter, which authorizes “action by air, sea or land forces” when needed to preserve international peace, since it invaded Kuwait in 1990. In contrast, Chapter VI allows the UN to promote dialogue and mediation to resolve disputes.