Mohammed al-Halbousi, the speaker of Iraqi parliament, discussed strengthening of economic ties with Kuwait including the establishment of a free-trade zone on their borders while meeting with his southern counterpart Marzouq al-Ghanim on Monday.
Halbousi led a parliamentary delegation with a “keenness” from Iraqi’s three presidencies — the prime ministership, presidency, and parliament leadership — to “strengthen relations with Arab neighbors, including Kuwait,” said a readout from Halbousi’s office.
“The talks dealt with ways of enhancing joint cooperation between Kuwait and Iraq in all fields, especially parliamentary and economic, and the results of the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, as well as discussing the establishment of a free-trade zone between the two countries to facilitate transition of goods and businessmen,” the readout added.
Kuwait hosted a conference in February 2018 to raise funds to help rebuild war-torn Iraqi cities like its second-largest of Mosul. Donors from 76 countries, international funds, and global organizations pledged around $30 billion — about one-third of what former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government was requesting.
Halbousi’s office said on Monday that Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah has “directed the executive and legislative authorities in Kuwait to expedite the transfer of funds allocated at the International Donors Conference to concrete projects on the ground.”