Kuwaiti interior minister discusses border security with his visiting Iraqi counterpart

Kuwait's interior minister on Saturday said he had "constructive and fruitful" talks on security cooperation with his visiting Iraqi counterpart.

Bayan Jabr, Iraq's top police official, was in the tiny oil rich kingdom for a three-day visit and told Sheik Nawwaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah that controlling their shared border was of "utmost importance for Iraq to prevent infiltrators and terrorists."

Although several Kuwaiti Muslim militants fighting alongside Arab insurgents in Iraq have reportedly been killed, Iraqi officials have not complained that terrorists entered the country across the desert border with Kuwait. Iraq and the United States, by contrast, have issued repeated angry denunciations of what they see is Syria's failure to shut its border to insurgents crossing to Iraq.

Kuwait is building a barrier along its border with Iraq to stop vehicles from entering the country through the desert. Authorities fear terrorists and smugglers would cross the frontier and threaten security.

The contacts signaled a fundamental improvement in relations 15 years after Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait and declared it a 19th Iraqi province. A U.S.-led coalition drove him out of the country in the first Gulf War. Ties with Baghdad were restored when the Washington-led invasion of Iraq unseated Saddam in 2003, the AP reported. Kuwait, a major U.S. ally, was the launch pad for the war and remains a logistics base for coalition forces serving in Iraq. A.M.

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