Manama: Iraq is reportedly ready to hand over to Kuwaiti officials some of the archives looted during the 1990 invasion, a major source of trouble between the two neighbours.
Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) reported that Baghdad informed Portugal, the chair of the Security Council, on Tuesday about the decision.
Iraqi Ambassador Hamid Al Bayati told the Council president in a letter that the Iraqi foreign minister sent a letter to the Kuwait embassy in Baghdad informing them of the existence of 136 microfilm cassettes that included the official archives of the official newspaper Kuwait Today.
The letter did not mention when the letter was sent to the Kuwaiti embassy, the official news agency said.
The cassettes are in good condition and ready for transmission. They had been handed over by an Iraqi citizen to the Iraqi foreign ministry, the ambassador said, but no date was mentioned.
“I have the honour to inform you that the Iraqi government has implemented the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s report of last June and that approval was obtained from the Iraqi authorities to form a committee headed by a representative from the Foreign Ministry,” Al Bayati said, quoted by Kuna.
The committee includes representatives from the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, the ministries of defence, interior, finance, justice and higher education and scientific research as well as the Central Bank of Iraq, he said.
Rank of general
All of the representatives are at least at the rank of general director and will be in charge of coordinating the efforts related to Kuwaiti national archives.
Kuwait has regularly insisted on the return of all the national archives of its ministries that were looted by forces of the Iraqi former regime during the seven-month occupation.
Iraqi troops attacked Kuwait on August 2, 1990.
They were ejected by a US-led coalition in February 1991. However, bilateral relations between Kuwait and Iraq have been troubled by unresolved problems related to the return of missing persons and archives looted during the invasion, border demarcation, debt and reparations.