“This money… should not be given to the Iraqis who invaded Kuwait and destroyed it,” Islamist Member of Parliament (MP) Khalid al-Adwa said in remarks published by al-Anbaa daily on Saturday, Reuters reported.
Other legislators welcomed the move as a humanitarian gesture, though cautioned the country should not forego its multi-billion dollar claims of war reparations against its northern neighbour.
Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Prince Mohammad al-Salem al-Sabah said on Friday at a meeting of donors in Madrid that Kuwait had already provided $1 billion in aid for Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein and would offer a further $500 million.
There isn’t a single Kuwaiti who agrees to dropping the compensation claims, especially as they are a result of Saddam’s crimes against Kuwait and its people”
MP Mohammad al-Bsairi
“The government is taking steps in a hurried way towards Iraq,” MP Faisal al-Muslim was quoted by the daily as saying.
“If Spain is giving $300 million and Britain $320 million, how can we donate this large sum?” he asked.
Another Islamist MP Mohammad al-Bsairi said he welcomed the humanitarian move, but added aid must not come at the expense of reparations.
US occupation administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, and some Iraq Governing Council members have suggested Kuwait drop reparations claims.
“We already criticised Bremer’s call… There isn’t a single Kuwaiti who agrees to dropping the compensation claims, especially as they are a result of Saddam’s crimes against Kuwait and its people,” al-Bsairi.
A parliamentary committee recently approved a draft law forbidding the government from dropping war reparations claims. Parliament is set to debate the issue soon.
International donors promised Iraq about $33 billion for reconstruction at the Madrid conference.