GENEVA (AFP) – The United Nations released 430 million dollars (302 million euros) in Iraqi compensation to Kuwait on Wednesday, in the latest round of payments in the war reparations scheme that began in 1994.
The payment brings the total amount paid by Iraq so far to 27.62 billion dollars, for distribution to individuals, companies, governments and international organisations, the UN Compensation Commission said in a statement.
Iraq, which faces further payments of about 25 billion dollars, recently complained about the financial burden of overall reparations.
The UN compensation scheme is financed by five percent of the revenues from Iraq’s oil and gas sales, following the 1991 invasion of Baghdad’s oil-rich neighbour under Saddam Hussein’s regime.
The Iraqi government has called for the percentage it pays to be halved.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged Iraq to weigh alternatives, including investments, to resolve the dispute over the reparations to Kuwait and pressed the Security Council to help Baghdad meet its outstanding obligations.
Baghdad wants the UN Security Council to accept that it no longer poses a threat to international security.
Kuwait insists there should be no change until Iraq has fully complied with resolutions on reparations, the return of property, the demarcation of the border and the repatriation of the remains of prisoners of war (POWs).