Nation & World

Iraqi minister in Kuwait to seek relief from war reparations

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's finance minister traveled to Kuwait on Sunday to discuss payment of debts and compensation for Saddam Hussein's 1991 invasion of that country, the Iraqi government said Sunday.

The United Nations awarded Kuwait $8.3 billion for losses and damage sustained in the invasion and occupation, according to the Web site of the U.N. Compensation Commission. Slightly more than half of that already has been paid through a U.N.-administered compensation fund fed by Iraq's oil sales.

Millions of claims were submitted against Iraq following the invasion, and the commission awarded more than $52.4 billion to affected governments, companies and individuals; Iraq still owes more than $28 billion.

Iraq also accrued sizable foreign debts under Saddam's regime. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called on Arab nations to forgive them, but they have been slow to do so.

(Spangler reports for The Miami Herald.)