Kuwait has decided to name former army chief of staff Ali al-Momen as its first ambassador in Baghdad since the 1990 Iraqi invasion of the emirate, the official KUNA news agency said on Thursday. Kuwait's emir is set to issue a decree naming Momen as ambassador, KUNA quoted Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah as saying.
It will be the first time Kuwait has had an ambassador in Baghdad since it was invaded by Saddam Hussein's regime in 1990. The Gulf emirate was liberated from seven months of Iraqi occupation by a US-led coalition in the 1991 Gulf war.
Kuwait is the latest in a string of Arab states to declare the appointment of an ambassador to Baghdad amid pressure from Washington to upgrade relations with Iraq's Shiite-led government as a counterweight to Shiite Iran. Bahrain, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have all recently named ambassadors.
Momen, who was chief of staff in the 1990s and subsequently retired from the army, presides over a centre established in Kuwait in coordination with the United Nations to provide humanitarian aid to Iraq after the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam.
No Arab ambassador is currently in post in Baghdad for security reasons.