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Kuwaiti PM on First Trip to Iraq Since Gulf War


Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (R) receives Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah at Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad, 12 Jan 11

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (R) receives Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah at Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad, 12 Jan 11

Kuwait's prime minister is on his first visit to Iraq since Iraqi forces invaded its oil-rich southern neighbor in 1990.

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser al-Muhammad al-Sabah arrived with his delegation in Baghdad Wednesday for talks with Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. Officials described the atmosphere as "positive" as the leaders worked to mend the long-strained ties between the two nations.

Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, triggering events that led to the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

Since then, Iraq and Kuwait have been at odds over reparations.

The visit comes as Iraq is investigating a high seas shootout two days ago between Iraqi fishermen and the Kuwaiti Coast Guard. The skirmish left one Kuwaiti officer dead.

Kuwaiti media report that the Iraqi fishing vessel entered Kuwait's waters in the Persian Gulf, and Iraqi fisherman opened fire on the Coast Guard.

Iraqi authorities say that after the Kuwaiti officer was killed, Kuwait retaliated by sinking the Iraqi boat and detaining four Iraqi fishermen.

Kuwait's Coast Guard often detains Iraqi fishermen who enter its waters. In October, it arrested 13 Iraqi fishermen.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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