A parliamentary panel has unanimously approved a draft law banning the Kuwaiti government from giving up tens of billions of dollars in war reparations from Iraq.
The legal and legislative committee sent the bill on Monday to another parliamentary panel to be finalised, said member of parliament Ali al-Rashad. It will then be passed by the 50-member house and endorsed by Kuwait’s emir to become binding law.
The emirate has filed compensation claims worth more than $100 billion to the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), established by the world body’s Security Council after Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The UNCC has already approved claims worth about $35 billion to the emirate and shelled out just under $9 billion, mostly to individuals.
US occupying administrator for Iraq Paul Bremer called on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia last month to re-examine war reparation payments Baghdad owes them since former President Saddam Hussein has been ousted. He also pointed out Iraq’s dire economic situation.
The call triggered an outcry from Kuwaiti lawmakers, who threatened action against the government if it bowed to Bremer’s calls.
Two leading members of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council who visited Kuwait in the past few days have acknowledged the emirate’s right to compensation but appealed for at least a payment delay.