Despite the war fought between the two countries about three decades ago, Iraq and Kuwait have been keen to develop relations on various levels. Kuwait has been a major player in encouraging states to help Iraq to reconstruct cities that the latter could liberate of ISIS.
Moreover, Iraqi officials including the president and the parliament speaker held talks on Wednesday and Thursday over bolstering trade relations between the two brotherly states.
Iraqi President Barham Salih called for following up on resolutions of the Kuwait-hosted international conference on rebuilding Iraq, praising Kuwait's aid for the relocated Iraqis and rebuilding war-damaged regions in the country, KUNA reported.
Salih, during a meeting with visiting Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled al-Roudhan on Wednesday, called for bolstering trade ties between the two countries.
The president also noted the necessity of broadening cooperation at this level for serving the two brotherly peoples' interests.
Iraq seeks "openness" with Arab, regional and foreign countries in the economic and industrial fields, he added.
For his part, Roudhan affirmed Kuwait's determination to promote ties with Iraq, as well as Kuwaiti companies' readiness to invest in the country and contribute to overhauling the infrastructure.
Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi on Thursday declared the legislative authority support for elevating the level of commercial ties between his country and Kuwait, KUNA reported.
The parliament speaker, during a meeting with Kuwaiti Minister of Commerce and Industry Khalid al-Roudhan, assured his guest that the lawmakers would bless agreements between the Iraqi and Kuwaiti governments.
Halbousi added that the legislators, along with political forces, are keen on tackling all files that may hamper development of commercial cooperation between Kuwait and Iraq.
He praised the significant support by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber for Iraq's war on terrorism and other key issues, such as resolving the plight of the displaced and reconstructing the country.
For his part, Roudhan called for lifting the level of commercial cooperation between the two neighboring states, expressing his opinion that the hurdles facing such an approach were trivial and could be handled.
Roudhan arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday to discuss means of promoting bilateral commercial relations.
Iraq's Trade Minister Mohamed Hashim al-Ani announced on Thursday signing an agreement with his Kuwaiti counterpart Roudhan for bilateral cooperation in all fields.
Iraq and Kuwait signed a memorandum of bilateral cooperation in all fields and have agreed on mechanisms for economic integration and resolving the outstanding problems between the two countries, the Iraqi ministry said in a statement.
Ani said that the Iraqi-Kuwaiti agreement is a first step in the right direction toward activating economic and trade relations and overcoming the problems of the previous stage.
Roudhan said on Wednesday that his current visit to Iraq aims to eliminate any hurdles that could encumber the progress of bilateral trade ties.
The Kuwaiti minister’s remarks came amid talks with Ani, where he pointed out that Baghdad now seeks economic prosperity after ridding its soil of terrorism. He said bilateral trade remains unsatisfactory, citing a genuine Kuwaiti desire to improve relations in that field, while time is now ripe to accomplish that goal.
The Iraqi minister welcomed the prospect of establishing a joint free trade zone with Kuwait, describing it as a measure that would rejuvenate bilateral trade. He said the Kuwaiti minister’s visit will prove instrumental in propelling ties to new heights.
Kuwait’s commerce minister arrived in Baghdad earlier on Wednesday heading an official delegation on a two-day official visit.