KUWAIT - Kuwait’s government will ask the parliament in its October session to forgive Iraq’s multi-billion debt to the Persian Gulf country.
The state has said that it would not allow the repayment of the estimated $15 billion to $16 billion debt to become a burden on Iraq, but only parliament can cancel it.
The government initiative follows the United Arab Emirates waiving Iraq’s debts. Saudi Arabia has also pledged to follow suit according to the daily newspaper Seyassah quoting a senior Kuwaiti official.
The debt represents loans Kuwait made to Baghdad in the Saddam Hussein era, mostly during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war.
Local media on Thursday also carried statements from an Iraqi politician stating that Kuwait could cancel the debt.
“Our brothers in Kuwait told us that they are not demanding any debt and that there is no need to discuss this issue,” the head of the Iraqi parliamentary foreign relations committee Humam Hamoudi was quoted as saying by the Al-Qabas newspaper.
Several Kuwaiti deputies oppose debt forgiveness as many in Kuwait are still bitter about Saddam’s 1990 invasion of their country. – Agencies