Iraq Status Report - A Biweekly Review of Developments in Iraq, March 31, 2011

Situation Report
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Politics and Diplomacy

Iraq and Kuwait Strengthen Bilateral Dialogue: Iraq and Kuwait have recently taken steps to strengthen their bilateral dialogue and are attempting to work cooperatively to solve problems and strengthen ties. Following a recent dispute involving fishing rights, Iraq and Kuwait established a mechanism to resolve maritime issues during Kuwaiti Prime Minister Nasser al-Mohammed al-Ahmed al-Sabah’s visit to Baghdad in January 2011. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited Kuwait on February 15 where he met with Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah to discuss a host of bilateral issues, including the establishment of a joint committee to focus on improving cooperation between the two countries. Most recently, after a delegation from Iraq’s Council of Representatives (COR) visited Kuwait, Kuwait promised to release Iraqis detained in Kuwaiti prisons and to loosen travel restrictions between the two countries. During his visit to Kuwait on March 19, COR Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said “this day represents the start of a new era of developed relations that aim to establish a sustained and strong partnership between the two countries.” Maintaining this level of goodwill and combined efforts will be essential to addressing outstanding issues in the bilateral relationship. (NEA-I-IPOG, Kuwait Times, MENA Financial Network, Arab Times Online)