MENAFN - Arab Times - 18/02/2010
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Iraqi Ambassador to the UN Hamid Al-Bayati on Tuesday predicted that "a package deal" will be reached with Kuwait about "everything" after the Iraqi elections scheduled for March 7th.
Al-Bayati told KUNA following a Security Council meeting on the situation in Iraq that "a package deal about everything will be reached after the elections." He did not elaborate.
He later told reporters that there are three outstanding issues with Kuwait: the missing persons and property, the compensation fund and the border.
He recalled that Iraq paid more than $27 billion in compensation to those affected by the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and is expected to pay $25 billion more.
"This issue will not be closed until all the compensations are paid in full, " he stressed.
"We are working to resolve all these outstanding issues. There are now good relations with the brotherly State of Kuwait. But this needs time and efforts, as there are newly discovered mass graves, and hopefully, we will find in them the remains of some Kuwaiti missing persons," he said For the sanctions regime, he said Iraq is no longer a threat to international peace and security and does not possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
"We believe it is high time for the UN to lift all sanctions and restrictions imposed on Iraq," he urged.
Ad Melkert, the UN Special envoy for Iraq, told reporters in answer to questions by KUNA "we are basically discussing the border issue with everyone, including the Iraqis. We are trying to come to a conclusion as soon as possible."
Asked what the Iraqi objection is to allow the UN to send experts to maintain the border posts, Melkert said "I cannot be specific on that. It has our attention because it is an important issue." On what is needed for Iraq to do to exit Chapter VII, Melkert said "we hope very much that soon after the elections it will be possible to work with the new Iraqi Government on resolving all issues that eventually would enable that, that includes the relation with Kuwait." He said he held talks with Kuwaiti officials in Kuwait last month and "I intend to continue those conversations to bring the parties together as quickly as possible."