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MENAFN - Arab Times - 25/09/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab Times) Representative of HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and the accompanying high-level delegation began diplomatic activities on Saturday on the margins of the General Assembly's yearly debate.

HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak met Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday to discuss Kuwait's active role in the Organisation, as well as other regional and international issues.
Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, member of the high-level delegation to the work of the Assembly, met on Saturday with his Omani counterpart Yousuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled also had an "intensive" meeting with Martin Kobler, the UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

In a statement to KUNA and Kuwait TV, Kobler said he had the opportunity to meet with Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled in the past and that they are in "regular contact." "The week where the Prime and Foreign Ministers are here in New York, it is very important to bring the Kuwaiti-Iraqi file ahead," he said following the meeting.

Asked what "new arrangements" both countries are exploring to tighten their cooperation, as suggested by the Secretary General in his latest report, Kobler said that it is the joint Kuwaiti-Iraqi Committees which are dealing with this issue.

He added that HH the Amir's "historic" visit to Baghdad earlier this year to attend the Arab League Summit "gave the whole file of the Kuwaiti-Iraqi relations a push. And I am very happy about this." He said "the UN has a mandate to take care of the whole Chapter VII issues, which is a problem for the Iraqis. They want to get out of Chapter VII, and the only way out is to fulfil its obligations, and that's what we are working on together with the Kuwaiti and Iraqi side." "I am very happy that there is such a dense interaction in terms of Committees, working group meetings and also high-ranking visitors from both sides," he stressed.

On whether he is ready to include under UNAMI's mandate the job of the UN High-Level Coordinator for Kuwaiti missing persons and property Gennady Tarasov after he leaves office later this year, Kobler said it is up to the Security Council to decide.

Kuwait recently suggested to the UN to appoint a UN high-level representative to deal with all outstanding Kuwaiti-Iraqi issues once Tarasov is gone.

"It is not up to me to decide, because Chapter VII issues are matters of the Security Council, so it is the Security Council to decide what happens, whether the provisions were fulfilled, how the progress is, they will evaluate the Secretary General's reports," he explained.

He said Tarasov's mandate is continuing until the end of the year and the Council members will have to discuss what will happen after that.

Asked if Iraq is on the right track fulfilling all its obligations, he said that after the "historic" exchange of visits between the leaders of the two countries, "I am confident that we can keep the dynamic in order to overcome the burden and to progress on the missing persons, on the border questions, and I am confident that we are going to manage, the Kuwaiti government is going to manage with the political goodwill and also the Iraqi side."


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