No way JosT

Old rivalries resurface as Kuwait Airways dismisses Iraq Airways settlement offer.

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By  John Irish Published  October 14, 2003

The Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) is set push for a revised reparation bid from Iraqi Airways after the organisation turned down a US$150 million offer from the Iraqi airline to resolve an ongoing lawsuit between the two organisations.

On October 12, KAC managing director, Ahmad Al Zaban had told reporters that the Iraqi offer was approved in principle. However, on October 13, the Ministry of Finance dismissed the Iraqi bid.

"The Ministry of Finance has asked that the case should continue and as a result we ceased contacts with the Iraqi side regarding the settlement," said Al Zaban.

The legal action, which was filed as a result of damages maintained to the airline's infrastructure and aircraft after Iraq's invasion of the Gulf state in 1991, initially amounted to $890 million.

Although no reason was given as to why the settlement was refused, the rebuttal follows recent suggestions by Iraq's US civil administrator, Paul Bremer that the emirate should drop demands for billions of dollars of war reparations.

Bremer had suggested that Kuwait's reparation claims were unreasonable considering its annual per capita income GDP was almost ten times as much as Iraq.

Those calls caused uproar in the Kuwaiti parliament.

"If Bremer is so concerned about per capita income, he has to demand dropping all of the USA's debts on poor nations where capita incomes don't exceed $30 a year," Daifallah Buramiya, member of the Kuwaiti parliament told Arab Times.

Iraq's external debt is estimated at more than $100 billion with war reparation claims as much as $30 billion.

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