KUWAIT: Kuwait has agreed to let Iraq postpone a final batch of Saddam Hussain-era war reparations it is owed until early 2017. The official Kuwait News Agency reported yesterday that the state agreed to give Iraq until Jan 2017 to pay the $4.6 billion reparations package following a request from Baghdad. The chairman of a Kuwait body charged with dealing with claims stemming from Iraq’s 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait, Khaled Al-Mudhaf, told the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva that Kuwait’s decision is based on its sympathy for Iraq and its understanding of the conditions in the country. The final payment date was already delayed once to 2016.

Kuwait’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah received a message in July from his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim Al-Jaafari requesting delay of the last tranche of reparations for an additional year, added Mudhaf, the Chairman of the Public Authority for Assessment of Compensation (PAAC).

The request was supported by Kuwait’s government in solidarity with Iraq and the Iraqi people, with no effect whatsoever on the UNSC resolutions, he said. Mudhaf stressed Kuwait’s readiness to offer aid to Iraq through the UNCC regarding claims submitted to the Iraqi judiciary. PAAC told the UNCC that the Kuwaiti government paid $520,248,230 in June, the total extra payment comprised in the UNCC resolutions, he said. – Agencies