Iraq, Kuwait try to mend fences – Kuwait media delegation tours Iraq
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Joint picture of the Kuwait media delegation with Iraq’s FM Zibari
KUWAIT: Kuwait Journalists’ visit to Iraq signaled a new step in improving relations between the two brotherly nations. The Journalists’ visit represented a qualitative move towards strengthening media relations. The visit received unlimited support from both leadership, as confirmed by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, and his Iraqi counterpart Premier Nouri Al-Maliki. The delegation which includes the media, political and economic leaders preceded the three visits by media delegations in 2008. The media visit has special importance, especially for the Iraqi public because it was on the heels of the visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s to Iraq during the Baghdad’s Arab Summit in March, which was considered by Iraqis as a ‘historic turn’ in the relations between the two brotherly countries.
The Amiri Diwan Affairs Minister Affairs Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad recently visited Iraq’s Kurdistan region and met Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani and other officials in the region. The media delegation came to witness the success of those two historic visits. The visit also documented the wish of both governments to turn a new page of relations based on peace and security for both countries. The delegation’s meeting with the Iraqi side was characterized with frankness and openness to identify the cracks, in order to mend them, as they varied between official, cultural, religious and economic issues.
On the political side, the delegation met with Iraqi Vice President Khudair Al-Khuzaei, Premier Nouri Al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zibari, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee at Iraq’s National Assembly Dr Human Hammoudi, and Chairman of the Higher Council Sayyed Ammar Al-Hakim. On the cultural side, the delegation met with several Iraqi intellectuals, journalists, as well as the head of the Iraqi Journalists Union Moayad Al-Lami. On the economic front, they met the head of the of national investment authority Dr Sami Al-Araji.
The delegation also visited several shrines including the two Kazimi Imams in Baghdad. While in Najaf, they met with some Iraqi scholars – Sayyed Mohammad Saeed Al-Hakeem and Scholar Judge Sayyed Mohammad Bahr Al-Oloum. There was a visit to the shrine of Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb in addition to the shrines of Imam Al-Hussein bin Ali and his brother Al-Abbas. Vice President Al-Khuzaei said Iraq is serious about closing the “file of its bitter past”. He said the Iraqi people were oppressed and that is why “they learned not to become the oppressors”, in an indication about Iraq’s true intention to make amends with all brotherly and friendly people and countries.
The Iraqi political and popular leaderships lauded the role of Kuwait Amir and they expressed thanks and appreciation to him for attending the Baghdad summit in March. They pointed to what they felt as true wish by Kuwait Amir and the Premier to remove all obstacles that stand as a barrier in the way of strengthening ties between the two brotherly neighbors. They also confirmed Iraq’s commitments to all international treaties and commitments, adding that this is mentioned in Iraq’s constitution.
The Iraqi leaders appealed to the media delegation to contribute to closing the gap between the two brotherly people, and stressed the necessity for the Civil Society institutions to communicate in order to shorten distances and erase bad feelings, and send positive messages. The Iraqi leadership said Kuwait will be Iraq’s gate towards the foreign world in the future, which is something that will lead to regional growth. They asked Kuwait businessmen to explore the Iraqi market. The Iraqi leadership said the new Iraq is searching for friendly relations with the rest of the world except Israel, and according to the proximity in joint relations with countries. They said that they favor Arab companies for the Iraqi market in order to strengthen ties with Arab countries.
Delegation member and former minister Dr Mohammad Al-Busairi conveyed the Amir’s greetings to the Iraqi leadership. Al-Busairi said the Kuwait leaders are keen on such contacts and continued visits of Iraqi delegations. He said that HH the Amir was interested in having representatives of businessmen in Kuwaiti delegations that visited Iraq, adding that a large businessmen delegation will visit Iraq later this month.
Delegation member and Editor-in-chief of Al-Anbaa Newspaper Yousuf Al-Marzouq said that unifying Kuwait and Iraq economic and commercial efforts, will make the two countries a very big economic power house in the North of the Arabian Gulf. He said “new Iraq is a good place for investment and needs many projects – especially infrastructural projects and services”. Meanwhile the coordinator of the media delegation Adnan Al-Rashid expressed thanks and appreciation for the invitation. Al-Rashid lauded efforts of the information Minister Mohammad Al-Abdallah Al-Sabah and the support of Kuwait’s Ambassador in Iraq Lt General Ali Al-Momen and his counterpart Iraq’s Ambassador to Kuwait Dr Mohammad Hussein Bahr Al-Oloum in promoting peace and progress.
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