ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s foreign ministry announced on Wednesday that Baghdad had returned 42,000 books to Kuwait after they were seized following the former Iraqi dictatorship’s invasion of the Gulf country in 1990.
Hazem al-Yusufi, Iraq’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations, announced in a press conference that “the books belonged to Kuwait's national library and University.” He told reporters that Iraq intends to return all of Kuwait’s belongings by the end of the year.
Yusufi confirmed that Iraq would also solve the case of missing Kuwaitis captured and buried in mass graves in the Iraqi desert “using all the advanced equipment and satellite imagery to find the location of the mass graves.”
On Aug. 8, the Iraqi government handed over the remains of 48 Kuwaiti citizens found in a mass grave who disappeared during Baghdad’s 1990 occupation and the ensuing Gulf War.
DNA tests following the excavation of the mass grave discovered in March in the Samawa desert, about 200 kilometers west of the capital city of Muthanna province, confirmed the remains belonged to Kuwaiti nationals.
Kuwait says that around 605 people went missing during the seven-month occupation of the country, according to Reuters.
“Iraqi authorities are taking serious steps to settle all the outstanding issues caused by the previous regime,” Yusufi added, reaffirming the deep ties between the two countries.
In August 1990, Iraq’s army occupied Kuwait for seven months after Iraqi officials accused the neighboring country of using so-called “slant” drilling techniques to steal oil from the Rumaila field in Iraq, leading to US-led military action. As Iraqi forces retreated, they set fire to over 600 Kuwaiti oil fields.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany