Iraq - Foreign policy



Since 1980 Iraq's foreign policy was influenced by Hussein's invasion of Iran and Kuwait. Though the Iran-Iraq War ended in August 1988, antagonism persisted between these two nations. The question of war reparations, the repatriation of prisoners of war, and other issues remained unresolved throughout the years of Saddam Hussein's administration. In addition, the invasion of Kuwait that triggered the Gulf War changed Iraq's relations with the Arab world. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco were among the countries that supported Kuwait in the UN coalition. Since the Gulf War, Iraq's relations these nations—especially with Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia—had cooled significantly. The main focus of Hussein's foreign policy was an effort to end the UN economic sanctions. In 1999, the ninth anniversary of the sanctions, the Iraqi government issued a statement describing the sanctions as criminal. A number of UN-member nations, including Russia, France, China, and Turkey, were in favor of easing the UN sanctions on Iraq. By contrast, the United States and Britain insisted on prolonging the sanctions until Hussein was deposed. Their view was that Iraq must fully comply with all UN Security Council resolutions, including those that relate to human rights abuses and weapons inspection. In January 2002, Hussein appealed to the Arab countries, specifically attempting to improve Iraq's relations with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia; in March 2002, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah embraced Hussein's plan in a move that was widely regarded as a rebuke of the United States and President George W. Bush's efforts toward peace in the Middle East.

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