Iraqi PM invites Kuwait's Emir, Iran's President-elect to visit Baghdad

Iraqi PM invites Kuwait's Emir, Iran's President-elect to visit Baghdad
Iraqi Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari delivered a handwritten invitation from Al-Sudani to the Kuwaiti Emir, formally inviting him to visit Baghdad.
2 min read
11 July, 2024
Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah (R) receiving Iraq's Interior Minister Abdul Amir al-Shammari at Bayan palace in Kuwait City on 8 July 2024. [Photo by KUNA]

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani has extended invitations to Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and newly elected Iranian President Massoud Pezeshkian to visit Baghdad, signalling a proactive approach to bolstering regional ties amidst ongoing security challenges.

Iraqi Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari delivered a handwritten message from Al-Sudani to the Kuwaiti Emir on Monday, formally inviting him to visit Baghdad, according to the Iraqi News Agency (INA).

Al-Shammari characterized his recent diplomatic mission to Kuwait as highly successful, highlighting substantive discussions focused on enhancing residency arrangements, simplifying visa procedures for Iraqis and Kuwaitis at border crossings, and strengthening joint efforts to combat drug trafficking through intensified intelligence cooperation.

During his visit, Al-Shammari confirmed that Kuwait's Interior Minister will participate in an upcoming security summit scheduled in Baghdad on July 22. 

Certain Iraqi Shia groups early this week have voiced discontent over measures by Kuwait's interior ministry that restrict Shia citizens from displaying flags or organising marches during the mourning period for Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Hussein, observed during Ashura.

Discussions during the diplomatic mission encompassed broader security issues, including border management, combating organised crime, and the implementation of a bilateral memorandum of understanding signed in 2016. 

Sudani additionally engaged in a productive telephone conversation with President-elect Pezeshkian, extending an official invitation for him to visit Iraq. The conversation underscored mutual congratulations on Pezeshkian's recent electoral victory and focused on fostering bilateral cooperation across various economic and security sectors.

Masoud Pezeshkian, a 69-year-old cardiac surgeon and former lawmaker, is Iran's new president, making him the first non-cleric to assume executive power since 2013.

He was elected in a controversial presidential run-off on July 5, following a lukewarm first round on June 28 where none of the six candidates secured a majority.

The invitations reflect Iraq's ongoing commitment to strengthening ties with neighbouring countries, overcoming historical tensions rooted in Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which precipitated the Gulf War and subsequent international sanctions.

 Despite these historical challenges, efforts have been made to delineate land borders with Kuwait under UN resolutions, while maritime border negotiations remain an ongoing bilateral dialogue.

Iraq and Iran engaged in a brutal war from 1980 to 1988, resulting in over one million casualties on both sides. The conflict, known as the Iran-Iraq War, was one of the deadliest in modern Middle Eastern history, characterized by trench warfare, chemical attacks, and prolonged battles over territorial disputes and ideological differences.