An Iraqi MP close to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki urged Kuwait to review the billions of dollars of war compensation it demands for Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion, in comments published on Monday.
“Iraq has paid large compensation to our neighbour Kuwait … and it’s time to review the details of those compensations, especially after Iraq regained its sovereignty” from the US, Abdulhadi al-Hassani told Kuwaiti daily Al-Dar.
Hassani, a member of Maliki’s State of Law parliamentary group, said the Iraqi people were also victims of the Saddam regime and should not keep being punished.
Iraq is required to put five percent of its oil revenues into a UN reparations fund, which has so far paid out $34.3 billion to claimants, of which around $25 billion went to Kuwait.
Baghdad is required to pay a further $18 billion, the bulk of it to Kuwait.
Since Saddam’s overthrow in the US-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has repeatedly appealed to Kuwait and other countries to waive tens of billions of dollars in compensation and debt payments.
Iraq also owes Kuwait around $16 billion for loans which Saddam took out to fund his 1980-1988 war against Iran that was largely bankrolled by the oil-rich Arab states of the Gulf.
Hassani said that besides war reparations, Kuwait has taken over 16 oil wells in the southern border area of Safwan and additional Iraqi territory and agricultural land as a result of a 1993 UN border demarcation resolution.
Maliki is to discuss these and other issues with Kuwaiti officials when he visits the emirate later this month, the MP said, without giving an exact date for the mission.
Baghdad has also raised objections to a sea port being built by Kuwait on Bubiyan Island that Iraq fears will strangle its shipping lines.