KUWAIT CITY, June 29, (KUNA): The UN Security Council members were in an official visit to the State of Kuwait for the first time and were briefed with the evolving Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations, said a senior diplomat here Friday. “The meetings started with Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq Alice Walpole; of the UK, who mainly talked about the Kuwaiti and third-party missing persons’ dossier, as well as Kuwaiti properties’ return file and progress made in those regards during her tenure,” Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, told KUNA.
Walpole assumed office in 2018. “We were also detailed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Representative in Kuwait on the matter. This comes within the ICRC’s capacity as head of the Tripartite Commission,” Ambassador Al- Otaibi noted, adding that recent reports on unearthing some 35 to 37 remains in Iraq and with DNA testing underway, we view this as “promising news.”
On June 20, a joint statement by the ICRC-affiliated Tripartite Commission announced the recovery of human remains in southern Iraq, offering hope for families of missing people from 1990-1991 Gulf War. Kuwait and Iraq are the other Commission members. The remains, believed to be of Kuwaiti citizens including civilians and prisoners of war, were found at two burial sites, as a result of joint efforts between Iraqi and Kuwaiti authorities, and experts from the ICRC, conducted within the framework of the Commission. The remains were fully exhumed and transferred to Baghdad’s Medico-Legal Directorate for DNA analysis.
Later Friday, a scheduled meeting with Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah took place, with bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries, as well as follow up mechanisms of outcomes of the KICRI 2018, to top the meeting’s agenda, Al-Otaibi pointed out. Kuwait said Friday it was looking forward for a new approach to help Iraq meet international obligations towards Kuwait, including missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals.
Kuwait appreciates UN Security Council’s (UNSC) keenness on implementing resolutions related to situation between Kuwait and Iraq with regards to compensations, missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals, and missing Kuwaiti properties including national archives, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled said. “We reaffirm importance and sensitivity of these issues, and their role to improving relations and building confidence between Kuwait and Iraq,” Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, addressing a meeting with visiting representatives of UNSC members.
“Therefore, we are looking forward for more efforts and to see a new approach to addressing obligations towards State of Kuwait … specially the humanitarian matters related to missing Kuwaitis and third-country nationals,” he said. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled welcomed recent endeavors by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) which contributed to finding remains “which we hope belong to Kuwaiti citizens.” Kuwait, he added, was awaiting “important positive developments” that would achieve concrete progress on the ground in order to end over 28 years of suffering of families of the missing.