Iraq Rejects Kuwait's ‘Extra’ Conditions for Reconciliation
Iraq on Friday rejected Kuwait's demand that there must be guarantees from Baghdad that it would never invade again before there could be reconciliation between the two former foes.
"By irresponsibly posing extra conditions, Kuwait's leaders are kidding themselves and will end up regretting their policy," blasted Ath-Thawra, mouthpiece of the ruling Baath party.
Baghdad recently showed "great flexibility in its desire to preserve Arab solidarity" but Kuwaiti leaders "thought they could take advantage of this flexibility to launch a hostile campaign against Iraq," the paper charged.
Iraq and Kuwait have traded blame for the failure of reconciliation efforts by Arab leaders meeting in Amman last month.
Iraq rejected a draft declaration aimed at solving the issue of Iraqi-Kuwaiti relations, 10 years after a US-led coalition ousted Saddam Hussein's troops from Kuwait following the 1990 invasion and seven months of occupation.
"Through their statements on relations with Iraq, the Kuwaiti leaders have stupidly echoed US orders," Ath-Thawra said.
"It would, however, be wise for them to put an immediate end to the use of Kuwaiti territory by US and British planes in their daily attacks on Iraq," it said.
Baghdad frequently rails against Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for allowing US and British planes to use bases on their territory to help impose no-fly zones put in place in the north and south of the country after the 1991 Gulf War.
Refusing to recognize the zones, which are not covered by any UN resolution, Iraq challenges the US and British over flights, resulting in clashes that according to Baghdad have cost 326 Iraqi lives since 1998 -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)