Iraq returns tonnes of national archives to Kuwait

Tonnes of documents and records were removed by Saddam Hussain's forces during the seven month occupation of Kuwait in 1990

Employee at the Kuwaiti Information Ministry Essam al-Said inspects boxes in the back of a truck containing Kuwaiti archives seized during the Iraqi invasion of the Gulf emirate in 1990, after their restitution by Iraqi authorities in Kuwait City, on March 28, 2021. AFP
Employee at the Kuwaiti Information Ministry Essam al-Said inspects boxes in the back of a truck containing Kuwaiti archives seized during the Iraqi invasion of the Gulf emirate in 1990, after their restitution by Iraqi authorities in Kuwait City, on March 28, 2021. AFP

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

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

Employee at the Kuwaiti Information Ministry Essam al-Said inspects boxes in the back of a truck containing Kuwaiti archives seized during the Iraqi invasion of the Gulf emirate in 1990, after their restitution by Iraqi authorities in Kuwait City, on March 28, 2021. / AFP / YASSER AL-ZAYYAT
Employee at the Kuwaiti Information Ministry Essam Al Said inspects boxes in the back of a truck containing Kuwaiti archives seized during the Iraqi invasion. AFP

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 co-operation and, God willing, there will soon be additional steps to complete the handover," he said during a ceremony marking the occasion in Kuwait City.

Employee at the Kuwaiti Information Ministry Essam al-Said inspects boxes in the back of a truck containing Kuwaiti archives seized during the Iraqi invasion of the Gulf emirate in 1990, after their restitution by Iraqi authorities in Kuwait City, on March 28, 2021. AFP 
Employee at the Kuwaiti Information Ministry Essam Al Said inspects boxes in the back of a truck containing Kuwaiti archives seized during the Iraqi invasion. AFP

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 former dictator Saddam Hussein, invaded oil-rich Kuwait on August 2, 1990, sparking international condemnation. Iraqi forces occupied 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.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi has sought to bolster relations with Gulf states and in 2019, Iraq signed a deal with the GCC to build a 300-kilometre transmission line from Kuwait to import 500 megawatts.

Published: March 29, 2021 11:52 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one