Last updated on: 6/3/2008 9:29:00 AM PST
What was the relationship between Iraq and Kuwait prior to the 1990 invasion?


General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, in the following excerpt on their website, described the pre-invasion relationship between Iraq and Kuwait (accessed May, 5, 2003):

"In 1961 Britain granted Kuwait independence, and Iraq revived and old claim that Kuwait had been governed as part of an Ottoman province in southern Iraq and was therefore rightfully Iraq's ... After intense global pressure Iraq recognized Kuwait in 1963. Nonetheless, there were occasional clashes along the Iraqi-Kuwait border, and relations between the two countries were sometimes tense.

Relations between the two countries improved during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), when Kuwait assisted Iraq with loans and diplomatic backing. After the war ended in 1988, the Iraqi government launched a costly program of reconstruction.

By 1990 Iraq had fallen $80 billion in debt and demanded that Kuwait forgive its share of the debt and help with other payments. As the same time, Iraq claimed that Kuwait was pumping oil from a field that straddled the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border and was not sharing the revenue. Iraq also accused Kuwait of producing more oil than allowed under quotas set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), thereby depressing the price of oil, Iraq's main export. Iraq's complaints against Kuwait grew increasingly harsh, but they were mostly about money and did not suggest that Iraq was about to revive its land claim to Kuwait."

May 5, 2003 Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia


Said Aburish, an author and journalist, stated in his Mar. 24, 2003 article "The West Has Given Saddam the Role He Always Longed For," published in the Guardian UK:

"Saddam's problems with America began after he triumphed over Khomeini, in 1989. The US had provided him with considerable logistical and financial support. But it dropped him the moment the war was over. Deeply in debt and unable to provide his people with the fruits of victory, he became convinced that the US was conspiring with Kuwait to overthrow him - and in 1990, the chicken thief from Tikrit invaded Kuwait."

Mar. 24, 2003 - Said K. Aburish 

Sa'doun Hammadi, PhD, Iraq's former Deputy Prime Minister, stated the following in an Apr. 30, 1990 letter to Kuwait's Foreign Minister, Shaikh Sabah al-Ahmad:

"Since the formation of our two states this century, the situation has in reality been that of two neighboring countries bound by close ties of kinship and the two countries have not yet reached an agreement to 'define' their borders on land and at sea. Perhaps the delay in reaching an accord on this issue is related to various reasons, some of which are beyond our national will. [...]

The sons of the Arab nations should join in defending its security and its future, with each of us respecting the sovereignty of the others on their territory and each of us having genuine and firm respect for the others as brothers and as states."


Apr. 30, 1990 - Sa'doun Hammadi, PhD