ICRC: Iraqis visit relatives in Kuwait

AL-SULAIBIYA, Kuwait, April 14 (UPI) -- Family members of Iraqis under detention in Kuwait paid a visit to their relatives for the first time since the Persian Gulf War, the Red Cross reports.

The International Committee of the Red Cross reported Tuesday that five Iraqi families began visiting Monday with family members under detention in Kuwait.


"The Kuwaiti authorities have fully supported and facilitated the visits, which will bring some relief to the detainees and their families," said John Strick van Linschoten, the ICRC coordinator for the Kuwaiti visit.

Relations between Iraq and Kuwait soured during the regime of Saddam Hussein. In 1990 Saddam invaded his southern neighbor in part on the premise that Kuwait was stealing Iraqi oil through a practice known as slant drilling.

Following the ouster of Saddam in 2003, however, diplomatic relations have improved. Kuwait posted a new ambassador in Iraq in October, and in February Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheik Mohammed al-Sabah became the highest-ranking official to visit Baghdad since 1990.

The Iraqis in Kuwait are under detention at the Kuwait Central Prison for their involvement in the Persian Gulf War.

ICRC officials have monitored their situation since March 1991.


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