Maliki thanks UN Security Council for easing anti-Iraq sanctions

Friday Jun 28, 201301:44 AM GMT

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

raqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has thanked the United Nations Security Council for easing sanctions imposed on Baghdad more than two decades ago.

On Thursday, the 15-member council voted unanimously to remove some sanctions imposed against Iraq after Saddam Hussein's forces invaded neighboring Kuwait in August 1990.

Following the invasion and occupation of Kuwait, Saddam declared that the Persian Gulf emirate was the 19th province of Iraq.

In a speech after the Security Council vote, Maliki stated that “Iraq is now free from the constraints imposed by the follies of the dictatorial regime.”

He underlined Iraq’s good intentions for bilateral relations with all countries, and called for talks and better relations between regional states to end the growing tensions.

"We put all our capabilities to support moderation in the region and cooperation with all states," said the Iraqi prime minister, adding that "Iraq cannot engage in politics and polarization".

Maliki also called on the UN to help bring an end to the terrorist acts taking place in Iraq. He said the terrorists are killing people to try to obtain political leverage.

Maliki praised the people of Iraq for their patience in the face of sanctions and terrorism.

Earlier in the day, Security Council members agreed that the issue of missing Kuwaiti people, property and archives should be handled under Chapter 6, instead of Chapter 7.

Chapter 6 of the UN Charter calls for peaceful resolution of conflicts between the countries, while Chapter 7 authorizes the Security Council to allow sanctions or military intervention if countries do not meet UN demands.

The Security Council resolution recognized “the importance of Iraq achieving international standing equal to that which it held prior to (1990).”

The decision is regarded as a major political upgrade for Iraq as it struggles to restore its international status after the US-led war toppled Saddam in March 2003.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari praised the UN vote, saying the move heralds a new start for the ties between Iraq and Kuwait.

“This is a new beginning for the relations between our two neighborly and brotherly countries. This is an example for other countries also to resolve their disputes and differences through peaceful means,” he stated.