Iraqi FM hails conclusion of compensation payments to Kuwait

The UN Compensation Commission was established in 1991. It mandated that Iraq compensate Kuwait and its citizens for damages caused by its invasion. 
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Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein during the UN Security Council meeting in New York, Feb. 22, 2022. (Photo: Iraqi Foreign Ministry)
Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein during the UN Security Council meeting in New York, Feb. 22, 2022. (Photo: Iraqi Foreign Ministry)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Tuesday hailed the formal end of Iraq’s commitment to compensate Kuwait for the 1990 invasion of that country following a unanimous vote by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

In a speech to Security Council on Tuesday, Hussein “congratulate[d] the Iraqi people and their government for the termination of these international obligations.”

The UN Compensation Commission was established in 1991. It mandated that Iraq compensate Kuwait and its citizens for damages caused by its invasion. 

In August 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded and annexed Kuwait, occupying it for seven months until his forces were forcibly expelled by an enormous United States-led military coalition. As his army retreated, it set over 700 oil ablaze causing enormous economic and environmental damage to the Gulf country. Hundreds of civilians in the country also disappeared during this period.

As a result, the UNSC imposed punitive measures that included restricting trade with Iraq. Baghdad was permitted access to basic necessities such as medicine and food under the ‘Oil for Food’ program.

These sanctions were lifted following the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq that toppled the Saddam Hussein regime. However, Baghdad still had to fully conclude its compensation payment, which took it almost another 20 years.

On Feb. 10, the UN compensation body announced the conclusion of its mandate as Iraq had fully paid $52.4 billion in reparations since the early 1990s.

Iraqi leaders welcomed the end of the measures and reiterated the country’s positive approach towards its neighbors.

Zhang Jun, the Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, congratulated Foreign Minister Hussein.

“A great pleasure to meet Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein of #Iraq,” Jun tweeted on Wednesday. “I congratulated him for the closing of UN Compensation Commission file by the #UNSC today which marks a new chapter for Iraq.”