BAGHDAD, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki will pay an official visit to neighboring Kuwait next Wednesday in a bid to resolve all pending issues between the two countries ahead of the Arab summit scheduled on March 29, an official Iraqi newspaper reported on Wednesday.
"Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will start his official visit to Kuwait on March 14, and will meet with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the prime minister, a number of dignitaries and Kuwaiti businessmen," the state-run al-Sabah newspaper quoted an unnamed government source as saying.
The paper also quoted Ali al-Allaq, secretary general of the Iraqi ministerial council, as saying that "the Kuwaiti side now seems more open than before in dealing with Iraq with respect to resolving the pending problems between the two countries."
The Iraqi side expects that the visit will contribute to resolving the outstanding issues of reparations of Saddam Hussein' s invasion to Kuwait in 1990, the location of Kuwait's controversial huge port of Mubarak on the joint navigation channel to the Gulf, in addition to ending the UN sanctions (known as " Chapter 7" sanctions) imposed on Iraq after the 1990 invasion.
Observers here see that if the two sides manage to reach workable understanding to end such issues, Maliki's visit will help create a positive atmosphere for Baghdad's Arab summit slated for March 29.
Iraq sees the summit as a significant milestone in its history that would lead the country to play a powerful and positive role in the Arab world.