- Kuwait Times Extra
KUWAIT: UN chief Ban Ki-moon said yesterday that HH the Amir will attend the Arab summit in Iraq, hailing progress in ties and urging Baghdad to fulfil longstanding obligations for its 1990 invasion of the state. “The relationship between Iraq and Kuwait has always been very sensitive, and there are many pending issues that have not yet been resolved. I urge Iraq to fulfil its longstanding obligations to Kuwait…especially in regards with the missing people, Kuwaiti property, compensation” and maintenance of border marks between the two nations, Ban said at a press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The UN chief welcomed the “progress in the normalisation of relations between Iraq and Kuwait”, adding that the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to Kuwait earlier this month was a positive step.
Regarding the Arab summit, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Al-Jarallah said “Iraq insisted on having the summit in Baghdad, which we supported. Their persistence confirms Iraq’s sincerity to contribute actively in the work of the summit.” He added, “The relationship between Kuwait and Iraq is important, and is based on mutual understanding.” Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is to attend the summit today in Baghdad, in the first visit by a Kuwaiti head of state since Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Aug 1990, Ban said following talks. Earlier, Ban and Sheikh Sabah held talks on the crisis in Syria, relations with Iraq and the Arab summit, the UN chief told a press conference in the Kuwaiti capital on his way to also attending the summit.
Ban insisted yesterday that Syria implement Kofi Annan’s six point peace as soon as possible, “I urge Assad to put these commitments into action immediately; there is no time to waste.” Syria will be the focus of the summit, set to take place today in Baghdad, “I will meet with key leaders in Baghdad to discuss how the UN can further efforts to implement the six-point peace plan,” said Ban. “This is an important step that could bring an end to the bloodshed and violence,” he added. The plan includes calls for the cessation of armed violence, for humanitarian assistance to be provided to affected areas and better media access and freedom of movement.
“The Arab summit is taking place at a crucial time and will discuss various issues of importance in the region,” said Ban, adding, “the leaders of the League of Arab States will have an important opportunity to take stock of what has happened in the region, especially in the wake of the Arab Spring.” Whilst regarding the acceptance of the six-point peace plan as promising, Ban noted “the Middle East peace process is at a dangerous impasse”.” There are still huge challenges for the Arab League to take a lead in,” he said.
By Lisa Conrad, Staff Writer and Agencies
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