Iraq seeks to defuse tensions with Kuwait

Cairo: The Iraqi Embassy in Kuwait has said the recent controversial remarks by its ambassador on Saddam Hussain’s 1990 invasion of the Gulf country were not aimed at meddling in Kuwait’s affairs.

Last month, Iraqi Ambassador Alaa Al Hashemi called for amending references to the 1990 invasion in the Kuwaiti textbooks and media, branding it as “Saddam’s invasion” rather than “Iraqi invasion”. He added in a press interview the Iraqi people were not pleased about the invasion of their neighbour.


The envoy’s suggestion drew the ire of several Kuwaiti parliamentarians, who accused him of interfering in their country’s affairs and demanded he make an apology.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Iraqi embassy said the ambassador’s remarks were generally aimed at enhancing “brotherly” ties between the two countries and an attempt to “ease consequences of the historic crisis”.

The embassy denied the suggestion was meant to downplay the 1990 invasion that led to the American-led war to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait. “The embassy confirms the statements were not aimed at interfering in the internal affairs of the sisterly State of Kuwait and emphasises the depth and importance of relations,” the mission added in the statement, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Watan.

“We would like to point out that the Iraqi people were against aggression on a sisterly and neighbourly country.”

There has been no official comment from Baghdad on the ambassador’s remarks.

In recent years, relations have improved between Kuwait and Iraq.

In February, Kuwait hosted an international donor conference for the reconstruction of Iraq, two months after Baghdad declared victory over Daesh terrorists.

Last month, Kuwait dispatched fuel and generators to Iraq in order to help ease an acute electricity problem in the country that triggered violent protests.

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