Wednesday was an historic day in the relations between Kuwait and Iraq. The emirate's prime minister arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday in the first such visit since Iraqi forces invaded the country in 1990. Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah was greeted at Baghdad airport by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and deputy foreign minister Labid Abbawi.
The Kuwaiti national anthem played as Sheikh Nasser walked down a red carpet to the group of waiting dignitaries, AFP reported.
The visit is the first by a Kuwaiti premier to Iraq since Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah in 1989, and the first since the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein ordered his forces to invade Kuwait in August 1990.
The assault was rapidly met with a concerted international military response that seven months later pushed Saddam's forces out of the emirate and eventually ended in his ouster by a US-led coalition in 2003.
The visit was "to congratulate Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on the new government, and to confirm the depth of the relations between the two countries," Abbawi was quoted as saying.
"It will create a great opportunity to open the road for discussions about outstanding issues between the two countries," he said.
"It is also a very important political message confirming Iraq's preparations to host the coming Arab summit," which is planned for March, Abbawi added.