Kuwaiti MPs reject Iraq’s debt write-off plea


The debt owed by Iraq to Kuwait is the right of the Kuwaiti people and no one has the right to negotiate over them," Islamist MP Abdullatif Al-Ameeri said. Ameeri however said that issues other than debts can be settled through dialogue, adding that the issue of debt and compensation had been approved by the UN Security Council. The lawmaker said that Kuwaiti voices calling to forgive the debt and compensation "should not be heeded and they do not represent the Kuwaiti people".

He said that no Kuwaiti MP supports the writing off of Iraqi debt, especially that Iraq is not a poor country and that "Kuwaiti people shed their blood" during the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. "The issue is a red line for Kuwait and no Kuwaiti will ever concede these loans," he said.

Iraq owes Kuwait an estimated $ 17 billion in debt and incurred interest. It was given during Iraq’s eight-year war with Iran which broke out in 1980. Kuwait has also made compensation claims worth tens of billions of dollars over Iraq’s invasion. The UN Compensation Commission has so far approved $ 45 billion and Kuwait has received just under $ 12 billion.

Kuwait has in the past few years agreed to substantially cut the Iraqi debt but linked it to approval by the National Assembly. It has however refused to negotiate over compensation money. MP Hassan Jowhar meanwhile said that the two countries should settle outstanding issues through open and direct dialogue and not through the media. He said that the United Nations has already settled several issues like the border issue and war compensation. He said that Kuwait was looking for good relations with its nei

In another development, several MPs reiterated their welcome of the government decision to ask the Audit Bureau to investigate the controversy over the fourth refinery project. MP Jowhar said that the Audit Bureau should be given enough time to study the project and MPs should not rush with judgments before the Bureau’s report.

On Tuesday, the Popular Action Bloc rejected the government measure, saying the project contracts should be awarded through the Central Tenders Committee. Jowhar said the Bloc’s position should be respected but added that he believes that all should wait for the Bureau’s opinion. MP Raja Al-Hujailan said the government measure was the right decision, especially that the Audit Bureau is a main arm of the National Assembly. MP Mohammad Al-Obaid said that all sides should wait for the Audit Bureau’s decision, adding the government has taken the correct step.


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