Sanctions were imposed on Iraq after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the 1990’s. The embargo on Iraq falls under Chapter VII of the U.N. charter.
Iraq still needs to return missing property, national treasures and archives, as well as reparations for the invasion, in order to fully exit from Chapter VII.
The sanctions have been eased but not lifted given Iraq still owes around $11 billion to Kuwait.
In total, Iraq was ordered by the U.N. to pay the Gulf country just over $52 billion. The debt is expected to be fully paid off by 2015.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari described the U.N. decision as a “landmark, a milestone, in the history of the relationship between Iraq and the international community,” AFP reported.
Zebari thanked Kuwait for its “support and assistance” and vowed to increase cooperation with the country.
“All the negative aspects of relations between the two countries have become another page of the past and we shall focus on the present and the future,” he was quoted saying by AFP.
The resolution adopted Thursday calls on the Iraqi government to continue searching for more than 600 missing Kuwaitis and looted property but no longer allows for the measures to be enforced militarily.
Meanwhile, Iraq found the remains of 236 missing Kuwaitis.
While Kuwait giving the go-ahead to build Mubarak port close to Iraq’s Umm Qasr harbor infuriated Baghdad in 2011, general relations between the two countries improved.
Regular flights between Baghdad and Kuwait resumed after more than two decades hiatus this year. Also, Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah went on a surprise one-day visit to Baghdad this month in a key sign of the thaw.
With AFP and AP