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Tuesday , January 31 2023

Kuwait marks invasion with aid to Iraq – Rift closing

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 1: As the State of Kuwait marks the 31st anniversary of the Iraqi invasion tomorrow, Monday, Kuwaitis themselves focused on closing the rift with their Iraqi brethren via continued humanitarian aid and relief. Despite the heavy impact of the 1990, Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which caused harm on various levels, the State of Kuwait took on the responsibility of aiding the Iraqi people since 1993. In April 1995 — upon directives from late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah — the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) delivered aid to the Iraqi people, knowing well that the people suffering in the fellow Arab country should not confused with their brutal regime led by Saddam Hussein. After toppling of the Iraqi regime in 2003, Kuwait managed to become one of the top countries providing aid to the Iraqi people through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Those displaced within Iraq as a result of armed conflict also benefited from Kuwait’s humanitarian assistance. In 2010, Kuwait donated USD one million to the UNHCR and in 2014, it provided USD three million to support humanitarian operations in Iraq. In 2015, the UNHCR received USD 200 million to help those displaced in the fellow Arab country.

Some of the ambulances donated to Iraq by Kuwait

In October of 2016, Kuwait donated to the UNHCR a sum of USD eight million to aid Iraqis fleeing from the brutality of so-called Islamic State (IS). Kuwait donated in the same month a sum of USD six million to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to cover their operations in Iraq. In July 2016, the State of Kuwait donated a sum of USD 176 million during a conference held in Washington to aid Iraq. In December 2016, Kuwait pledged a sum of USD five million to WHO to help its operations in Iraq. The State of Kuwait — in its position as a UN humanitarian aid center — hosted in February of 2018 the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI). The conference resulted in a USD 30 billion donations to help Iraqis overcome the destruction caused by IS.

Meanwhile, on the Iraqi side, the visit by the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Iraq on June 19, 2019 and the continued efforts by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had helped in mending some of the pain caused by the Iraqi invasion. In recent history, the cooperation between two countries helped Kuwait receive the remains of 10 Kuwaiti POWs on July 11, 2021. The KRCS, on its part, provided various modes of assistance to the displaced Iraqis in cooperation with the government and international organizations. Some 500 units were constructed in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan by the KRCS in addition to the distribution of 56,000 foodstuff on suffering and needy families.

The KRCS also handed in 2018 40,000 food baskets for displaced Iraqis in Kurdistan. Kuwaiti charities also played part in aiding Iraqis. In September of 2016, Kuwait-based International Islamic Charity Organization (IICO) provided USD one million to displaced in Anbar and Salahuddin provinces as well as providing USD 1.8 million to some 600,000 displaced Iraqis. Kuwait is set to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Iraqi Invasion on Monday, as the world remembers the sacrifice of Kuwaiti people to defend their land. On this occasion, Kuwaitis remember the efforts of late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, late Father Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and late former minister and ambassador Sheikh Saud Al-Nasser Al- Sabah, who played a big role in liberating Kuwait.

Since the country’s independence in 1961, Kuwait worked on developing its foreign policy based on transparency, neutrality and dialogue. According to Dr. Suleiman Al-Shaheen in his book on Kuwait’s diplomacy, he noted that the country focuses on developing economy to serve the political side, as well as humanitarian work and development projects around the world. In a previous interview with KUNA, director general of Sheikh Saud Nasser Al-Sabah Kuwait Diplomatic Institute Ambassador Abdulaziz Al-Sharekh said that decades of diplomatic efforts and transparency made Kuwait a country that is highly respected by the world. Protecting the country’s security and stability through developing cooperation and ties with other countries and maintain a wise relation with everyone had always been Kuwait’s first priority, he said.

During the Iraqi Invasion, the world stood with Kuwait to regain its freedom, as countries never forgot Kuwait’s generous aid, donations and humanitarian projects throughout the years through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Al-Sharekh added. Prior to the invasion, Iraq was continuously escalating media campaigns against Kuwait, until the disaster occurred on August 2nd, 1990. Kuwait’s government exerted great efforts to rally support of the international community in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement foreign ministers on October 5, 1990. Kuwait called on the international community to implement the UNSC’s Resolution 660 issued on August 3, demanding withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait and paying compensations to Kuwait for the economic and social damage of the invasion. The US and the then Soviet Union condemned the invasion and called on Iraq to withdraw its troops immediately, while foreign ministers of Muslim states also demanded withdrawal during their meeting in Cairo, Egypt. (KUNA)

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