KUWAIT — A number of countries in the Gulf region are seeking investment opportunities in Iraq, despite the uncertain security and economic development situations there. On Sept. 27, an Emirati-Algerian company obtained the approval of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to produce and develop eco-friendly fuel in Iraq.
Kuwait is also considering investing in Iraq as a way to substitute for the reparations it has been owed by Baghdad since the 1991 Gulf War. Kuwait is studying a proposal issued in July by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that calls for Kuwait to invest reparations in joint projects in Iraq.
Kuwait also confirmed its readiness to discuss ways of directly benefiting the people of Iraq and Kuwait, stressing the desire for a strategic partnership between the two countries, especially in the areas of "infrastructure, tourism, trade and investment."
After the 1991 Gulf War, the UN Security Council ordered Iraq to pay reparations to the countries that suffered due to its occupation of Kuwait. The Iraqi government has to allocate 5 percent of its oil revenues to the payment of reparations, most of which goes to Kuwait.
Iraq has already paid US$27.6 billion in reparations to individuals, organisations, companies and governments, nearly half of which was paid to Kuwait. Iraq recently called on the UN Security Council to rescind the war reparations still due to Kuwait.
Baghdad said under current arrangements it still owes $24 billion to Kuwait alone. Kuwait is also asking for the return of property stolen during the invasion, along with the return of the remaining prisoners of war and the demarcation of maritime borders between the two countries.
Kuwait apparently is ready to support Iraq's effort to exit from Chapter VII provisions of the UN Charter that the Security Council drew upon to impose severe sanctions on Iraq. This will, however, require Iraq's full compliance with related UN resolutions.