Kuwait could rebuff $500m Iraqi Airways offer

Dispute relates to destruction of Kuwait Airways fleet during first Gulf War

A Kuwait Airways airplane (AFP/Getty Images).

A Kuwait Airways airplane (AFP/Getty Images).

Kuwait could reject a US$500m compensation offer from Iraq in the latest twist in a debt dispute that has continued since the first Gulf War.

Government-owned Kuwait Airways had originally sought US$1.2bn from Iraq for the ten jets that were taken by Iraqi forces during the Gulf War of 1990-1991. Two-and-a-half years ago, the airline won a court order in the UK that led to the freezing of Iraqi Airways’ global assets.

Towards the end of last year, Iraqi Airways said it would offer Kuwait Airways US$500m.

However, according to Al Rai, as reported by the Kuwait Times, “parliamentary insiders” believe that a majority of legislators will not accept the deal.

According to the newspaper, members indicated that the US$500m sum was “too little” and “not comparable with the value of the loss the KAC [Kuwait Airways Corporation] suffered as a result of destruction to its fleet”.

Iraq’s offer involves a US$300m settlement in cash, with the remaining US$200m to be invested in joint projects.

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