BAGHDAD, Oct 23 (KUNA) -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari hailed on
Tuesday the decision of His Highness the Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad
Al-Jaber Al-Sabah approving the settlement of the financial dispute between
Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) and Iraq Airways.
"The decision will help promote the bilateral ties between the two sisterly
countries," Zebari said in a press release by his Ministry of which KUNA
received a copy.
"The move removes all hurdles facing the bilateral ties and enables Iraqi
Airways to step up its rehabilitation process and enhance its fleet," he added.
Zebari has received a phone call earlier today from Kuwaiti Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah affirming the
decision of HH the Amir, according to the statement.
The Amiri decree in this regard has been published in Kuwait Gazette today;
a copy of the decree was sent to KAC's lawyer in London to stop the claims to
Iraqi Airways assets, the statement added.
Meanwhile, Spokesman of the Government Ali Al-Dabbagh said Kuwait's consent
to settle the issue of KAC's compensations and stop all KAC's lawsuits against
Iraqi Airways was an important step and good initiative.
"This step will pave the way for closer ties in the light of the outcomes
of the recent visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to Kuwait,"
Al-Dabbagh told reporters here.
The bilateral ties thawed remarkably in the recent months since HH Amir
paid a historic visit to Baghdad in late march this year. On April 30 Kuwait
Ambassador to Iraq Ali Al-Mo'men announced plans to open two consulates in
Irbil, north Iraq, and the southern city of Basra.
Under the final financial settlement of the two-decade old dispute, Iraq
has to pay USD 500 million in damages to KAC.
In a related development the Iraqi government set aside USD 200 million of
the budget of FY 2013, in addition to USD 300 million allocated in FY 2012, to
the implementation of the financial settlement deal between the Iraqi Ministry
of Transport and Kuwait Ministry of Communications, Al-Dabbagh revealed. (end)
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