Russian FM Visits Kuwait with ‘Confidence-Building Measures’ for Iraq
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who has proposed "confidence-building measures" between Iraq and its Gulf neighbors, arrived Saturday in Kuwait on the sixth leg of a Middle East tour.
Ivanov was to meet with Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and his counterpart Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah to find "joint solutions for outstanding problems."
"We pay great attention to the opinion of the Kuwaiti leadership in order to reach joint solutions for the problems," Ivanov told reporters at the start of his two-day visit.
Kuwaiti officials said Ivanov would discuss the results of his visit to Iraq earlier in the week and Russian efforts to mediate between Kuwait and its former occupier.
Ivanov has also visited Israel, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Jordan.
In Amman on Friday, Ivanov said he would discuss with officials in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the last leg of his tour, "confidence-building measures" to mend fences between Iraq and the Gulf Arab monarchies.
"It is in the interest of Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to turn the Gulf into a zone of stability and I will discuss these issues during my visits to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia," he said.
Ivanov also renewed Russian calls for a lifting of the UN sanctions imposed on Baghdad for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait and for an end to US and British air strikes on Iraq.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Vassily Sredin, visited the emirate earlier this month and called on Baghdad to comply with UN resolutions.
But Sheikh Sabah has denied that Kuwait received a Russian initiative to open a dialogue with Iraq -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)