Kuwait

OpenCalais Metadata: Latitude: 
29.366667
OpenCalais Metadata: Longitude: 
47.966667

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Transportation Ministry says the country’s airline will resume commercial flights to Kuwait for the first time since Saddam Hussein’s forces invaded the Gulf nation in 1990.

A statement posted on the ministry’s official website said Monday that flights between the two “brotherly countries” is due to start next Wednesday for the first time in more than 22 years.

The decision follows an agreement designed to end a long-running dispute over reparations for Kuwaiti airways. Baghdad agreed to pay $500 million in compensation to Kuwait’s national carrier for damage caused during the occupation.

Kuwaiti citizens demonstrate at Freedom Square in Kuwait City on Monday. Kuwait’s ruler accepted the resignation of the country’s scandal-battered government Monday, but then directed it to remain in office as a caretaker Cabinet, a slap at opposition groups seeking to bring down the prime minister over a corruption scandal.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Kuwait faced a fresh bout of political uncertainty on Monday after opposition lawmakers said the government has submitted its resignation to the Gulf nation’s ruler amid a growing crisis over corruption accusations.

However, there was no official word on such a move, which could lead to parliament being dissolved and new elections — if it’s accepted by Kuwait’s emir.

One opposition lawmaker, Khaled al-Sultan, told reporters that the Cabinet tendered the resignations just hours before a major protest rally was set to begin.

The oil-rich nation has been locked in an increasingly bitter dispute between the government and opposition groups demanding the prime minister’s resignation. Protesters stormed parliament earlier in November to decry claims that officials transferred state funds to bank accounts abroad.

The unrest comes against the backdrop of widespread and sometimes violent protests that have roiled the Arab world.
Yet there is little sign the tumult could seriously challenge Kuwait’s political system — a constitutional monarchy whose parliament has the most powers of any elected body in the Gulf.

Kuwait’s political uncertainty is nonetheless a cause for concern among its Western allies. The OPEC member nation could host thousands more American forces under a Pentagon-drafted plan to boost troop strength in the Gulf after the U.S. withdraws from Iraq.