Kuwait has sent its first ambassador to Iraq in 18 years, a sign of improving diplomatic ties between Iraq and its Arab neighbors.
Kuwait’s first ambassador to Iraq since 1990, ‘Ali Al-Mumin, took office on Wednesday.
In a joint press conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hushyar Zibari, the officials said they would put the past behind them and try to build good ties.
Relations between Iraq and Kuwait were severed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.
The two countries restored diplomatic relations after Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled in 2003.
Kuwait is one of several Arab countries that have recently announced upgrading relations with Iraq.
Envoys from Jordan and Syria arrived in Baghdad over the past two weeks, while Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are considering similar moves.
Arab states have been reluctant to restore full diplomatic relations and send ambassadors to Baghdad because of the dangerous security situation and also due to concerns that the Shi’ite government in Baghdad is tilted towards Iran.
Analysts say the restoration of diplomatic relations is a result of the improving security situation in Iraq and also recognition from Arab states that they need to be more involved if they want to play a significant role in Iraq’s development and future.
The United States wants to see more of its Sunni Muslim allies in the region forging stronger ties with Baghdad to form a counterpoint to the non-Arab Shi’ite Iran, and also to prove that its mission in Iraq has been a success.
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