AN employee at the Kuwaiti information ministry inspects boxes in the back of a truck containing Kuwaiti archives seized during the Iraqi invasion in 1990.—AFP
AN employee at the Kuwaiti information ministry inspects boxes in the back of a truck containing Kuwaiti archives seized during the Iraqi invasion in 1990.—AFP

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait received on Sunday eight tonnes of documents and other items taken during the 1990 Iraq invasion led by Saddam Hussein, officials said.

It is the third shipment that Kuwait has received since 2019, according to officials from both countries.

Kuwait’s assistant foreign minister Nasser al-Hain welcomed the move, saying the shipment contained archives from Kuwait University, the information ministry and other institutions. “We look forward to more cooperation and, God willing, there will soon be additional steps to complete the handover,” he said during a ceremony marking the occasion in Kuwait City.

Qahtan al-Janabi, from Iraq’s foreign ministry, said that his country had previously received a list of missing items from Kuwait and “based on that, the handover is taking place”.

Iraqi forces, under ex-dictator Saddam Hussein, invaded oil-rich Kuwait on Aug 2, 1990, sparking international condemnation, and occupying the Gulf state for seven months before they were pushed out by a US-led international coalition.

Baghdad has paid around $50 billion in the last three decades in reparations, but faced with its worst fiscal crisis in years amid the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting oil prices, it has asked for an extension for the final $3.8 billion.

While the countries now have civil relations, issues remain over borders and the repatriation of bodies.

Kuwait’s maritime patrols regularly detain Iraqi fishermen who stray too far into neighbouring waters. Iraq says the UN-drawn maritime borders are unfair.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2021

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