Confront those who seek to harm Iraq and its people: Kuwait’s envoy
NEW YORK: Kuwait called for more self-control and refrain from using violence during demonstrations in Iraq, expressing hope that fellow Arab country will overcome the current exceptional circumstances. This came in a speech for Kuwait’s Permanent Representative at the UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi on Tuesday evening during a session of the Security Council on the situation in Iraq.
Otaibi called for confronting all those who seek to harm Iraq and its people, provoke sedition, destabilize security and stability, target demonstrators and destroy public and private property. “What happened in the past was a sign of the unity of the Iraqi people in all political orientations and ethnic and sectarian affiliations to eliminate the so-called Islamic State (IS) and overcome the darkest and most difficult circumstances,” he said. He wished the Iraqi people continued stability and prosperity and welcomed the steps taken by the Iraqi government to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people, ease the tension by forming a commission of inquiry into the use of force against demonstrators, and bring those responsible for violations to justice.
“As a neighboring country, we are following with great interest the developments in Iraq after demonstrations erupted several weeks ago,” Otaibi added, expressing regret to the loss of thousands of civilian and security forces, and extended condolences to the families of the victims. “Iraq is on an important stage to recover, and fully aware of the great circumstances and challenges facing it, it is important to address them through a peaceful and constructive dialogue,” he said.
Otaibi stressed that Kuwait is well aware of the difficulty of this stage and will spare no effort to stand by Iraq and help provide support in the context of their efforts to address internal challenges. In this regard, he welcomed the vital role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to strengthen those efforts through consultation with the three Iraqi presidencies to find reforms in line with the legal and constitutional frameworks, and meets the demands of the Iraqi people.
On the other hand, Otaibi reaffirmed the importance of resolving the issue of missing Kuwaitis and missing of other nationals, which has been going on for nearly 29 years. He urged the members of the Security Council to continue their supportive stances and serious efforts to find a solution to end the suffering of the families of missing persons. He pointed to the positive contribution of the United Kingdom, France and the United States in providing UNAMI with maps and archival materials dating from 1990-1991. He expressed Kuwait appreciation to the constructive cooperation shown by the Iraqi government within the framework of the tripartite committee and its technical committee, headed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
With regard to Kuwaiti properties, Otaibi praised the efforts of the Iraqi authorities and those who contributed to facilitating the return of Kuwaiti property, which reached 200,000 books. He pointed out many lists that have been submitted in previous periods and have not been retrieved, the most important of which is the National Archives of the Amiri Diwan, the Crown Prince’s Court, His Highness the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that were looted during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Some date back to the 19th century. “While expressing our appreciation for the commitment shown by Iraq in fulfilling all its remaining international obligations, we also express our sincere desire to terminate the remaining of those obligations,” he said. “We are confident that Iraq’s implementation of its remaining international obligations under the umbrella of the United Nations will broaden the horizon of a solid relationship based on respect for relevant Security Council resolutions,” he proceeded.
In the meantime, Iraq expressed its gratitude towards the State of Kuwait’s stance within the UNSC on issues pertaining to the Arab world — an effort, which bolstered regional and international stability and security. Iraq’s permanent representative to the UN headquarters in New York Ambassador Mohammad Bahr Al-Ulum delivered this praise during a UNSC session on the situation in Iraq. The Iraqi diplomat said that cooperation with Kuwait was within the top priorities for Iraq, stressing that his country was willing to fulfill its commitment to the UNSC and its resolutions.
Relations with Kuwait witnessed positive developments recently especially with the holding of joint committee meetings aimed at overcoming obstacles and bolstering ties, affirmed Ambassador Bahr Al-Ulum. In regards to the internal situation in Iraq, the Iraqi diplomat denied that security forces had used excessive force against protestors in the country, blaming “outlaw groups” for steering controversy. He affirmed that Iraq would look into the demands of the protestors, focusing on efforts to rectify the political and economic situation in the country through reforms. Popular protests began in Iraq on October first and resumed since the 25th of the month, forcing the Iraqi government to resign last Friday. – KUNA