Iraqi deputy speaker stressed strengthening of ties with Kuwait following visit
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The second deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Bashir Haddad, on Wednesday affirmed the further deepening and strengthening of ties between Kuwait, Erbil, and Baghdad during a meeting with Kuwaiti officials.
“We are looking forward to the development of bilateral relations between Iraq and Kuwait, from the Kurdistan region to Basra,” Haddad wrote in a statement on his official webpage following meetings between an Iraqi parliamentary delegation and representatives of the Kuwaiti government, including parliamentary speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim.
Months after the national elections, which were marred by allegations of fraud, were held, Iraqi lawmakers finally held their first session in September and elected a speaker and his two deputies after weeks of delays. The position of Parliamentary Speaker is traditionally reserved for a Sunni Arab, and his two deputies are taken from Shia and Kurdish candidates.
Haddad, who was elected a second deputy, is part of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) faction.
The delegation of lawmakers was spearheaded by the speaker, Mohammed al-Halbousi, who was accompanied by Haddad and a group of other MPs. The officials went to Kuwait to maintain friendly relations between the two countries, Haddad stressed.
“Our visit to the State of Kuwait is important in order to expand cooperation between the neighboring countries.”
Haddad said he hoped strengthening ties would “serve the common interests between the two countries at all levels,” including in policy-making.
Relations between the two countries have been improving in recent years, almost three decades after the Iraq army’s occupation of its southwestern neighbor which lasted seven months. The former Iraqi regime had accused Kuwait of using so-called “slant” drilling techniques to steal oil from the Rumaila fields in the south of the country.
Editing by Nadia Riva