Relations between the two countries have been strained because, with Iraq’s wish to emancipate from the UN Chapter VII mandate, Kuwait remains insistent that these sanctions should remain until all war compensations are paid, the status of Kuwaiti prisoners and missing persons is determined, Kuwaiti possessions are returned, and water and land borders demarcated. Resolving all these files that date from the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the paper notes, “requires a very long period,” meaning that the Iraqi state cannot enjoy full sovereignty for years to come.
Az-Zaman reports that Kuwaiti officials have called for an urgent meeting for the Iraqi-Kuwaiti commission to discuss the thorny issues separating the two countries. The legal situation could be re-assessed, the paper claims, because of a recent US Supreme Court decision affirming that the current Iraqi government cannot be made responsible for the actions of Saddam’s regime.
The ruling came after three Americans attempted to sue the Iraqi government for being imprisoned and mistreated in Iraq in the early 1970s. The plaintiffs included a CBS correspondent and two US nationals who worked in the oil sector.
Government-owned As-Sabah, meanwhile, quotes in its front page statements by President Talabani, who attempted to soften the crisis between the two countries by calling for “a calm resolution of the controversial matters between the two countries.”
On the same front, London-based al-Hayat quoted Ayatollah Sistani, who also stressed that “solutions have to be found to tensions between Iraq and neighboring countries ... because Iraq is bound by common interest with its neighbors.”
In security news, al-Jazeera news channel says that seven Iraqis were killed when a bomb went off in a bus garage in southern Baghdad. The district of Abu Dhsheir, where this last bombing took place, has been disproportionately hit by attacks recently. Several cafes in Abu Dsheir have been targeted by bombings in the last weeks.
In political news, negotiations for the reconstitution of the Shi'a I’tilaf before the coming legislative elections are occupying the political arena. Several rounds of talks have been held between the leaderships of Maliki’s Da'wa and al-Hakeem’s SIIC without a clear resolution. Ex-Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari visited Najaf to meet with Ayatollah Sistani and advocate the rebuilding of a “reformed” I’tilaf, and according to al-Bayyna al-Jadeeda, Sadrists, who were one of the main pillars of the I’tilaf, are announcing that they will take no part in the Shi'a coalition, and that they are aiming instead at building a broad cross-sectarian alliance instead.
The daily quotes Sadrist MP Akram Tarazi who claims that talks have already been initiated with political factions to promote this prospective coalition. Tarazi, stressing the Sadrist Current’s alleged efforts to combat corruption, predicted that the coming elections will “completely change the map of the political process” and “bring new blood to the Parliament.”